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Election Silence Declared as Greece Readies to Decide New Government

© REUTERS / Marko DjuricaA man holding a Greek flag walks on central Syntagma square as the parliament is seen in the background, in Athens January 24, 2015
A man holding a Greek flag walks on central Syntagma square as the parliament is seen in the background, in Athens January 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Election silence came into force the day before the early parliamentary elections in Greece.

Flag of Greece - Sputnik International
Greece to Hold General Elections on January 25
ATHENS, January 24 (Sputnik) — Election silence came into force in Greece on Saturday as the country braces for the early parliamentary elections scheduled for January 25.

Pre-election campaigning, politicians' speeches and debates on the television as well as the publication of opinion polls are banned throughout Greece the day before the vote.

However, thousands of commercial posters are still in the streets, and the main parties' pavilions are distributing promotional materials and ballots with a list of candidates from the party. The voters can fill a ballot at home and drop it into the ballot box at the voting station on the day of the election.

The country's leftist party Syriza completed its pre-election campaign with triumphant speech of the party's leader, 40-years-old Alexis Tsipras, in central Athens' Omonia Square on Thursday.

Tsipras vowed that if his party wins the election, it would put an end to the widely unpopular austerity measures imposed by EU bankers, including severe budget cuts and tax hikes.

Commenting on the speculations about Greece exiting the Eurozone, Tsipras gave assurances that his party did not intend to take Greece out of the euro currency bloc.

The incumbent New Democracy center-right political party held a meeting on Friday, with Greece's current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sharply criticizing Syriza and urging to prevent the chaos, which the country may face in case left radicals come to power.

However, according to the recent polls, anti-austerity Syriza party is likely to win the upcoming election, which would become a historic moment for the country, as to date a radical left party has never won a majority in Greek parliament.

Other parties, which will contest for the majority in parliament are the centrist To Potami, far-right Golden Dawn, KKE (Communist Party of Greece), a social-democratic PASOK, anti-austerity ANEL (The Independent Greeks) and Kinima, which was formed on January 3, 2015 after dividing from PASOK.

Early elections were announced after the Greek parliament failed to elect the country's president in December 2014. The task will lie ahead of the new composition of the parliament.

A total of 250 of the parliament's 300 seats will be distributed through proportional representation and other 50 will be given to the party that wins a majority. A three percent threshold is required to enter parliament.

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