Voting starts in Greece

Athens: Greeks started voting on Sunday in the second general election this year to elect a new government.

The new government will implement the latest three-year bailout agreed in the summer with international creditors.

About 9.8 million citizens are registered to vote in 19,457 polling stations nationwide, reported Xinhua news agency.

The Radical Left SYRIZA party of former prime minister Alexis Tsipras and the conservative New Democracy (ND) party led by Evangelos Meimarakis are the front runners.

In the January 25 election, SYRIZA won and formed the first Left-led government in Greece’s modern history.

After marathon negotiations with lenders and the closure of banks to avoid a collapse of the banking system when the second bailout expired in late June, Tsipras made a U-turn and signed the third bailout.

Following a rift in his party over the bailout, Tsipras quit and asked voters for a second opportunity to rule with a new stable government.

Regardless of which party wins, first surveys showed that none of the two frontrunners are close to gaining absolute majority in the next 300-member parliament, making coalition partnerships inevitable.