Greece The Election of 1993
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
The ensuing campaign was perhaps the most negative in postjunta Greek politics. Rather than presenting coherent platforms, the two major parties ran extremely derogatory campaigns, evoking voters' fears about the dire consequences of electing their opponents. In a desperate tactic that apparently backfired with voters, ND also stressed Papandreou's frail health and limited stamina. Sympathy also was generated for Samaras when the ND labeled him a traitor for his policy in Macedonia. Under these conditions, Papandreou made a political comeback that very few people would have believed possible four years earlier. The performance of PASOK (47 percent of the vote, 170 seats) surprised many international observers who had consigned Papandreou to history. Swing voters in 1993 (unlike 1981), were probably more motivated by the dismal performance of ND than by a hope that PASOK somehow held the answers to the critical economic, social, and foreign policy problems facing Greece.
The defeat of ND precipitated a change of leadership in the party, as Mitsotakis resigned in favor of Miltiadis Evert. At the same time, ND repudiated its recent experiment with "neoliberalism." The formation of PA undoubtedly shifted many votes away from ND in 1993; indeed some 75 percent of all PA voters in 1993 had voted for the ND in 1990. It is not at all clear, however, that these voters would have supported ND and not PASOK in 1993 if PA had not formed.
Other major losers in 1993 were the KKE and the new version of Synaspismos, which now included only the anti-Moscow branch of the KKE and splinter leftist parties. The KKE lost to the PA its long-standing position as the third-largest party in Greece; Synaspismos fell below the 3 percent threshold for eligibility to send deputies to the Assembly. By contrast, the PA began its political existence with momentum as a new force with substantial support.
Despite the continuing polarization of voters between PASOK and ND, the negative tone of the campaign clearly disenchanted large numbers of the electorate. In June 1994, this reaction was confirmed by the results of the election for Greek representatives to the European Parliament (the governing body of the EU, for which the political parties of member nations submit candidates as they do for domestic representation). The combined vote for PASOK and ND barely exceeded 70 percent, compared with the 86 percent the two parties had totaled in the October 1993 national elections.
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece The Election of 1993 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece The Election of 1993 should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.