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Where We’re Voting: Greece, Guatemala, Sierra Leone

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis addresses supporters during a pre-election rally by the island of Salamina.

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis addresses supporters during a pre-election rally by the island of Salamina.

REUTERS/Louiza Vradi

Got any weekend plans? You should be headed to the polls if you live in Greece, Guatemala, or Sierra Leone.

Greece. About a month ago, the ruling center-right New Democracy Party of Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis swept the parliamentary election with a better-than-expected 40+% of the vote. But since it fell just a few seats short of a parliamentary majority, Mitsotakis called a second round, where different rules make it easier for the top finisher to form a government.

New Democracy will probably win a comfortable majority — a remarkable turnaround for the Greek government just months after the twin crises of a wiretapping scandal and a deadly train crash. Don't expect many voters to sour on Mitsotakis even after the recent shipwreck tragedy because most Greeks appreciate his "tough but fair" stance on migrants.

Guatemala. Most Guatemalans are not feeling upbeat about the strength of their democracy. Turnout for the first-round presidential election in the Central American country will probably be very low since many people don't see the point in showing up for a vote pre-rigged by the courts that disqualified the three main opposition candidates.

There are three main contenders to replace term-limited President Alejandro Giammattei: former first lady Sandra Torres, a centrist; Edmond Mulet, a center-right former diplomat; and Zury Ríos, the far-right daughter of former military dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. The three are neck-and-neck in the polls, with Mulet favored to beat Torres in the runoff in a nation whose flawed democracy means many Guatemalans will continue trying to migrate to the US.

Sierra Leone. If you're Sierra Leonean, you don't take elections for granted. After all, this is only the sixth vote since the country ended a bloody civil war 21 years ago. But that doesn't mean things will go smoothly: British actor Idris Elba, whose dad is from Sierra Leone, tweeted a video calling for peace at the polling stations.

The vote will be all about the economy, stupid. Sierra Leoneans are being crushed by sky-high inflation, which in Aug. 2022 triggered social unrest in the capital, Freetown. Still, President Julius Maada Bio will likely win a second and final term against opposition leader Samura Kamara, who Bio already beat (lol) in 2018.


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