Parallel elections in Greece and Turkey: The risks, the scenarios, the “defenses”

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Parallel elections in Greece and Turkey: The risks, the scenarios, the “defenses”

The interval of 40 to 60 days between the 1st election and the 2nd in Greece is critical

By Penelope Galliou

At a time when Greece has been informally moving for some time in pre-election rhythms, with the Greek Prime Minister having specified the setting up of the first ballot box, the simple analog one, from April onwards, something similar is happening on the opposite side of the Aegean, where there, the Turkish president has been moving at a pre-election pace for a long time, trying to “turn” the climate against him ahead of the Turkish elections.

The possibility, in fact, Tayyip Erdogan to hasten the Turkish elections earlier than June, when they were initially supposed to be held and finally held even in April, makes the electoral contests in Greece and Turkey almost parallel. An event that would go unnoticed, if the situation in Greek-Turkish relations were normal. However, the tense relations between Athens and Ankara, under the sole responsibility of the latter, and the exploitation of these relations for internal political consumption in Turkey, are troubling Athens, which studies all eventualities and scenarios and changes the facts.

After all, Tayyip Erdoğan has proven that in order to strengthen his leadership profile and his neo-Ottoman designs, he does not hesitate to increase the tension with Greece by proceeding with war crimes and threats against our country. Moreover, for a long time now, analysts have sounded the alarm and estimate that as we approach the elections in the neighboring country, given that Tayyip Erdoğan is not only not expected to “walk” but gathers enough chances to be defeated, he does the same even more more unpredictable in relation to his reactions towards Greece and they do not rule out the possibility that he will try to take advantage of – as is historically the case in Greek-Turkish relations – a potential political instability in Greece in order to “strike”.

A possibility that worries many government officials and publicly, however, refusing to admit that the date of elections in Greece may be affected by the corresponding Turkish ones. However, this does not mean that the developments in the neighborhood do not cause concern about the impact they may have on Greek-Turkish relations and the risks posed by any political instability that will result from the inability to form a Greek government in the first electoral contest due to simple proportionality.

The period of approximately 40-60 days when the country’s fortunes will be in the hands of the caretaker government headed by a supreme judge with no political experience always looms the risk of an unpredictable move on Turkey’s part or an accident of its provocative behavior igniting uncontrollable situations . In this context, although such a scenario is not the most prevalent, and estimates converge on the fact that Ankara will remain on the rhetorical rampage, nevertheless, the government is studying and preparing for all eventualities.

In fact, under these conditions, government he is reportedly preparing a proposal to all parties so that during the formation of a caretaker government that will lead the country to the second elections, the ministers of foreign affairs and defense will remain in their positions. This possibility was expressed by the Minister of the Interior, Makis Voridis, in an interview on SKAI radio, expressing the hope that “the political forces will be able to come to an agreement so that there are no gaps in the administration of critical portfolios, mainly such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense in relation to Turkey”. Regarding the simultaneous holding of elections in the two countries, he said that “at some point we will also have a caretaker government and elections in Turkey. We cannot avoid this. Therefore, it is not critical”, however he insisted on “maintaining ministers who can ensure the continuously and they know the subject for this critical period, rather than connecting the time of the elections by trying to make guesses about what will happen in Turkey in relation to the elections”.

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