With 32 political parties standing for election the two front runners of PASOK and New Democracy have lost much of their traditional support. Voters are expected to show their disapproval for the politicians blamed for leading the country into economic strife.
Voting commences at 7 a.m. Sunday and Athens News
reports that the first estimates should be expected around 9.30 p.m. Although voting is mandatory in Greek elections, penalties are no longer applied to those who abstain from voting. According to Ta Nea
there are 9,850,802 registered voters.
As the Greek electorate battles with on-going austerity, the Interior Minister announced
that the total cost of the elections will not exceed 50 million euros. However, there is a risk of a second election being called if there is no clear leader or workable coalition government. In addition to the expense of elections voters are required to travel to their home areas to vote, resulting in the necessity of a long weekend.
Election campaigns officially ended on Friday. Much of the campaigning was done away from the streets due to the unpopularity of politicians who risked being pelted with yogurt if they got too close to voters. As campaigning drew to a close Evangelos Venizelos, the new leader of current ruling party PASOK appealed to voters to consider the importance of staying within the Euro and sticking with the unpopular austerity measures.