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Projections Say Syriza Tops Greek Vote, But Coaltion Likely

Alexis Tsipras is seeking a second term as prime minister in the Greek parliamentary elections.

Official projections in Greece’s parliamentary election have shown that the left-wing Syriza party of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras emerging as the leading vote getter, though falling short of enough seats to form a government on its own.

The Interior Ministry said in results posted on its website September 20 that Syriza had won 35.5 percent of the vote.

Its rival, the conservative New Democracy party, was projected in second place with 28 percent, while the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn was expected to come in third with 7.1 percent.

Over 9.8 million Greeks were registered to vote in the election to select a new government to implement a three-year bailout adopted by parliament last month.

The 41-year-old Tsipras stepped down in August and called new elections after seven months of tense negotiations with creditors over a European Union bailout plan.

Syriza was weakened by an internal revolt after Tsipras agreed to austerity measures in exchange for an 86 billion euro ($97 billion) bailout package.

Tsipras argued he had no choice but to accept the demands of European creditors for more tax hikes and spending cuts in return for Greece's third rescue.

He had vowed to repeal the measures imposed in return for the country's first two bailouts — and despite winning the hastily called July 5 referendum.

But without the third bailout, Greece — which has relied on international rescue loans since 2010 — faced bankruptcy and a potentially disastrous exit from Europe's joint currency.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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