Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis, decisively returned to power by a landslide victory for his New Democracy Party in Sunday's (November 17) election, is to form a new cabinet later this week.
GV Results of voting on board at press centre
SV Newsmen typing and at telexes
SV Newsmen looking at results board (2 shots)
CU Lambrias speaking
SV EXT Supporters in street chanting (3 shots)
CU Flag ZOOM OUT TO GV Parliament building
SV INT Karamanlis walks to micro-phones
SV Newsmen PAN TO Karamanlis and translator speaking (2 shots)
"The result proves the political maturity of the Greek people after ten years -- three years of anomaly and seven years of dictatorship."
"We declare that elections have taken place in a most smooth way. So the foreign correspondents present here today witnessed this fact .... Also the smooth, absolutely just way these elections were carried out."
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Background: Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis, decisively returned to power by a landslide victory for his New Democracy Party in Sunday's (November 17) election, is to form a new cabinet later this week.
The first parliamentary elections in Greece for ten years resulted in over 54 per cent of the vote going to the conservative party led by Mr. Karamanlis. The 67-year-old Premier had earlier ruled Greece for eight consecutive years up till 1963.
His party's shere of the vote will entitle it to about 213 seats in the 300-member parliament.
The opposition will be led in parliament by the liberal Centre Union-New Forces Party under George Mavros, which will have about 65 seats. The Panhellenic Socialist Government of Andreas Panandreou will have only about a dozen seats.
Mr. Karamanlis' big majority will allow him to deal more effectively with the pressing Cyprus problem, whilst pushing through an economic programme to deal with inflation. The vote has been interpreted as an expression of the Greek people's desire for calm and stability.
This was how former Press Undersecretary Panavotis Lambrias, a close associate of Mr. Karamanlis, summed up the voting on Sunday night as it became clear that the New Democracy Party was heading for a landslide victory:
The following morning Mr. Karamanlis gave his own assessment of the victory when he spoke to foreign newsmen at the Greek Parliament building. His comments were translated into English:
SYNOPSIS: As the results came in from the Greek general election on Sunday night, it became clear that the country's first parliamentary vote for ten years was turning into a landslide victory for Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis and his New Democracy Party. Newsmen monitoring early results at the press centre in Athens were soon able to predict the magnitude of the victory. A close associate of Mr. Karamanlis, former Press Undersecretary Panayotis Lambrias, was there to give his verdict:
News of the pending victory didn't take long to reach Karamanlis supporters outside.
When the final results were announced the following morning,tit was revealed that over fifty-four per cent of the total votes went to Mr. Karamanlis' party, enough to secure it about two-hundred and thirteen seats in the three-hundred member parliament, and ensuring a firm mandate to deal with pressing economic and political problems.
So the new session of parliament will be dominated by the New Democracy Party. The biggest of the opposition parties will be able to muster no more than about sixty-five seats. On Monday morning, premier Karamanlis was at the Parliament Building to tell foreign newsmen that the elections had been fair and just.