Greek election leaves fractured parliament

May 6, 2012, midnight

Greece held parliamentary elections on Sunday in which seven parties entered parliament and none having enough seats to form a government. The New Democracy party finished in first place with 18 percent of the vote while Greece's other major party, PASOK, fell to third with just 13 percent. The left-wing Syriza finished in second place with 17 percent of the vote and the far-right Golden Dawn party entered parliament with 7 percent. Greece’s electoral system has parties compete for 250 seats via open-list proportional representation, while the remaining 50 seats are awarded to the party that receives the most votes. Because of this, New Democracy finished with 17 more seats than it did in the previous election, despite winning a lower percentage of the vote. Despite the bonus, however, New Democracy fell short of a majority, and party leader Antonis SAMARAS announced on Tuesday that he was unable to form a coalition government. Alexis TSIPRAS of Syriza was also unable to form a government, and if no party is successful, new elections will have to be held.

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