7 things you didn’t know about the Greek election Posted by Ourania on Jul 3, 2019 in Culture, Vocabulary
Γεια σας! Sunday, the 7th of July is the date of the general election (βουλευτικές εκλογές). In this post, we will explore some historic facts related to the public election in Greece.
- The Constitution of 1864 (Το Σύνταγμα του 1864) acknowledged civil rights (πολιτικά δικαιώματα) to women. Τhe Greek women participated at the general election for the first time on the 19th of February 1864.
- In 1956, Lina Tsaldari (Λίνα Τσαλδάρη) was the first woman to be a minister. She took charge of the Ministry of Social Welfare (Υπουργείο Κοινωνικής Πρόνοιας).
- In the Greek Parliament (ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο) there are only 53 women deputies out of 300.
- The first election after the dictatorship (δικτατορία) took place on the 17th of November 1974. The prime minister (πρωθυπουργός) was Konstantinos Karamanlis (Κωνσταντίνος Καραμανλής) who got 55% of the votes and 149 seats. This is a “record” which has not been broken yet.
- It is the first time after 144 years that elections are held in July.
- In ancient Greece instead of paper ballots (ψηφοδέλτια), people were using shells, small pieces of pots and stones. The word ψήφος (vote) means smooth pebble.
- The first paper ballot was used in the municipal elections (δημοτικές εκλογές) in 1834. The voter (ψηφοφόρος) had to write down the name of the candidate they preferred but as many voters were illiterate, the paper ballot was abolished and replaced by a lead pellet, until the municipal election in 1914. From 1926 until now we have been using paper ballots.
Vocabulary and grammar
- The word ψήφος is feminine (η ψήφος) but is declined like a masculine noun ending in –ος. When used with an adjective, the adjective is feminine. Example: πολλές ψήφοι, not πολλοί ψήφοι / πόσες ψήφοι, not πόσοι ψήφοι.
- We always use the noun εκλογή in the plural (εκλογές) to refer to political elections. Example: βουλευτικές εκλογές (general election). Εκλογή means selection, choice or cooptation.
- The noun deputy is translated as βουλευτής for both genders and is declined as a masculine noun ending in -ης. In everyday life Greek though, some people often use βουλευτίνα for a woman.
If you want to read more on vocabulary, you read my post on election vocabulary.
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