Saturday, June 1, 2019

It's Election Groundhog Day on Mykonos



Jeff—Saturday

No, that’s not a riot you see above, it’s a Friday Night election rally on Mykonos for a second round of voting set for Sunday to determine who will be the next mayor of Mykonos. Last Sunday the island voted for its Town Counsel members, but as none of the three parties posting candidates polled over 50% of the vote, this weekend the island votes solely on which of the top two parties’ leaders will be the next mayor. 

Well, not actually the next mayor, because both candidates in this run-off election have been mayor before. The current mayor is running for a second term. The other candidate is running for his 6th term, having resigned in the middle of his 5th term three mayors ago, but now decided to run again. I know, it sounds confusing and confounding, which I assure you is how many Mykonians feel at the moment.


The rally I attended where I took these photos was held in town—a convenient location for me—while the other candidate’s location was not convenient. So, in order to maintain the political neutrality of MIE, I’m only posting photos of the crowd, so as not to suggest I’m taking a political position. Yes, Mykonians will likely know whose rally I attended, but there’s not much I can do about that.


The rally took place it the town’s amphitheater close by a school and playground, and just below three chic hotels. The theater hosts many events over the season, not just rallies, though these days cultural events are more likely to take place at the relatively new Cultural Center out of town, or in an event space on the town’s main shopping street. Neither of which are conducive to launching fireworks or flares from their stages. 

Grypareio Cultural Center

There is also food and drink at campaign rallies, but it’s served only after the candidate finishes speaking.  That can easily require an hour or two of keeping one’s butt firmly planted on stone bleachers.  In other words, it could be said that exercising one’s civic duty on Mykonos is best pursued by hard-asses.


Good luck, Mykonians.  Choose wisely.

Kalo mina.

—Jeff

5 comments:

  1. Oh I loved this! We saw similar crowds before last weekend's election while on the island of Spetses. However, we hear that we also have a Mayor's race tomorrow -- a run-off -- and it is being done without such fanfare. . .to the point I am not sure how many know there will be a run-off. . .oh, so goes life in rural Greece! ;-)

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  2. Hi J&J,

    Sorry I missed your comment until now, but it's been a rather interesting few days of electioneering over here on Mykonos. I think Greek voters know if there is a runoff election in their communities, especially in the villages. The reason for the lack of hoopla is that under Greek election law all of the town council seats have already been decided and all that's left to be determined (at least on Mykonos) is which party's leader (of the two top finishing parties with neither having achieved 50%) will be elected mayor. What that means is that the masses of folks running for council office were not out campaigning for themselves. It also raises an interesting twist on who will win the mayoral runoff. In the first round, people generally vote for family members and friends. This time they vote for the one they want to head up their local government. That doesn't necessarily translate into the party that won the majority of council seats seeing those who gave them that vote doing the same for their leader.

    In other words, there's a real horserace underway that has behind the scenes politics being played hardball style.

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  3. FYI. The fellow whose rally I attended—the current mayor—won re-election on Sunday.

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  4. My brother, I say this as a capital D and small d democrat. The Greeks are justly proud of the invention of democracy. But it seems broken right now. The bad guys, as we crime writers know full well, are always looking for ways around the rules. They seem to me manipulating the democratic process to their own advantage these days. All over the world. They learn from each other. The Bastards.

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