Greeks have been called to the polls for the second time in just over a month to elect a new parliament, with conservatives hoping to win and return former Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to power.
Polling stations opened at 7:00 a.m. local time and will close 12 hours later, with results expected by around 5:00 p.m. GMT.
The election takes place against the backdrop of a migrant boat sinking on June 14 that is feared to have claimed hundreds of lives off the country’s southern coast. One of the worst migration disasters in years has highlighted party divisions over the issue of immigration.
The disaster has sidelined other issues in the run-up to the election, including the cost of living crisis and a train derailment that left several people dead in February, revealing shortcomings in the railway system.
Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party won the elections held on May 21 by a 20-point margin over the left-wing Syriza party, which ruled Greece from 2015 to 2019. However, it did not win an absolute majority, which necessitated a second round of voting under different rules that make it easier for the winning party to secure a majority in the 300-seat parliament.
Under the constitution, Mitsotakis resigned as prime minister in 2019 after inconclusive elections last month, and a caretaker prime minister has been in power since then.
In the final days, polls predicted that the New Democracy party would win more than 40 percent of the vote, while the Syriza party led by Alexis Tsipras came in second with 20 percent.