By Antonis Anzoletou

On Monday, October 2, sirens will sound all over Greece because of the “Parmenion” exercise. Perhaps a way should be found for the alarm to act as a wake-up call, reminding citizens that in just seven days the polls will once again be set up across the region. The self-governing elections that will be held on the 8th of the month are undoubtedly the most “mute” since the post-colonial period. The very dense and in most cases unpleasant current affairs has “suffocated” everything and few voters have dealt with the candidate mayors or regional governors. And that includes the biggest cities too. Fortunately, there are enough candidates for the municipal-regional councils and they liven up the process a bit with the mobility they demonstrate.

In this climate, the issue of abstinence is normal for the staffs who have already raised the tempo to full. All the candidates have presented their combinations, but the interest – beyond the narrow party circle – has been very little. In 2019, in the first round, participation reached 60%.

What is happening and the interest is not increased? There is the “fatigue” of the double elections of the summer. Will the citizens of the country once again get tired of getting up next Sunday to go to the polls again? What plays a very big role is psychology. The polarization of the previous period was intense. The promises heard from the parties are many, and unfortunately the results are not good. Citizens trusted New Democracy, increasing its percentages reaching 41%, however the summer fires, the murder of Michalis Katsouris by Dinamo Zagreb hooligans who crossed the country undisturbed and of course the floods have caused great discomfort to the voting public.

The same applies to SYRIZA, which reduced its percentages by half, while the intra-party electoral process that followed did not send the right messages. The election of Stefanos Kasselakis divided the party. As far as PASOK is concerned, so far it has not shown that it is able to fill the void left by SYRIZA and exercise a structural opposition to the government. The budget battle has not yet begun and the “bloods” have not ignited in the Parliament. The candidates may almost all have the “label” of the independent, but the majority of them are supported by a party. Distaste for political forces is not an encouraging factor in attracting new voters. The coming week will be catalytic and it is possible that moves will be made by the staffs that will arouse the interest of the citizens.

What might help is the change in the electoral law, which now provides that the candidate for mayor or regional governor who will exceed 43% can be elected from the first round. Perhaps this will mobilize the people in several regions in order to avoid the second polls that will be held on October 15.