Greeks begin to vote in first post-bailout parliamentary elections

Greek voters started casting their ballots on Sunday in the first parliamentary elections since the country exited the international bailouts last year.

The polling stations nationwide are open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time (0400-1600 GMT). About 9.9 million citizens of 17 years and above are eligible to vote.

Exit polls are expected to be released shortly afterwards, as the first official estimates will arrive around 9 p.m. local time (1800 GMT), and the final results on Monday, according to the Interior Ministry.

A total of 20 parties are running the campaign, which demands a 3-percent threshold to enter the 300-member parliament, according to the Greek electoral law.

Most recent opinion surveys indicated that Greece’s main opposition conservative New Democracy (ND) party would win with a margin of 8-15 percentage points over the radical left SYRIZA party led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and have an outright majority in the parliament.

Polls also showed that the center-left Movement of Change would rank third, likely followed by the Communist Party of Greece.

The economy is once again the main issue for consideration when voters cast their ballots, according to polls.