I hope you will agree that this piece is completely unbiased and could only have been produced by someone who holds a fervent disinterest in politics!
To me the elections meant that we had more posters on street corners, less music on the local radio in between campaign messages, and an inability to hear my TV on the Friday evening before the elections as all three candidates competed for decibel supremacy at their various locations.
Careful timing of speeches so that the electorate could hear all the messages went the way of most schedules and the only thing that clawed its way to supremacy was highly rousing music composed by Vassilis Aspiotis. As I had last heard this memorable composition at both performances of Lysistrata, my thoughts went back to half-naked women and men in drag which probably wasn't quite the intended effect! A debate-type programme on the TV featured no fewer than seven politicians around a table shouting at each other in magnificent cacophony. Added to the three from outside, it made for a pretty noisy evening.
I sat around on the Sunday evening waiting for the results in my role as stand-in roving reporter but, despite an air of expectancy, it was just like any other autumn evening. It had been explained to me that my own country's custom of using a large building to assemble the supporters of all parties and then read out the results while all the candidates wait on a stage, would be disastrous here as it would be fairly sure to end up in a mass wrestling match!
However the old custom of banning alcohol sales in shops, restaurants and bars, lest booze-fuelled civil unrest break out, seems to be a thing of the past; there was a conspicuous lack of the tea and coffee cups that used to appear on such occasions.
The results started coming through at 9.30pm and it was clear that Giannis Rangoussis of the independent Unity for the Future party had claimed a landslide victory with 54.6% of the vote, with Nikos Frangoulis in second place with 32.6% and Kostas Argouzis, the current Mayor, trailing with 12.8%, meaning that no second ballot would be necessary on the following weekend.
BREAKDOWN OF RESULTS
by Silvia Lubitz-Skaramagkas
Our new Mayor, Giannis Rangoussis will take office from 1st January 2003 and the new "Dimotiko Symvoulio" (Municipal Council) members will include 15 members from the independent party Unity for the Future, 7 from Nea Dimokratia, including Nikos Frangoulis and 3 from the independent party of Kostas Argouzis, including him.
The first nine members of the Council received the following number of votes:
The remaining Councillors are: Nikos Frangoulis, Vasilis Ventouris, Georgos Loukis, Mr K. Bizas, Mr Y. Bizas, Mr Y. Aliprantis, Mr Giotis, Kostas Argouzis, Mr Rokanidas and Maria Tsantanis.
Voting in the October elections was also for the Nomarchis (Prefect) of the Cyclades District and his representative (Eparchos) for the Paros Provincial District.
The new Nomarchis is Dimitris Bailos, replacing Mr Rigas who had held this position for the past eight years. Our local Eparchos is lawyer Grigoria Protolati, replacing Nikos Arkoulis.
Many congratulations to Giannis Rangoussis and his Councillors and to our new Eparchos.
I think the best wish for our new Mayor should be that he gets all needed support from the inhabitants of Paros, from his Councillors and committees, and of course from the opposition. I would also wish for us to be appreciated for our activities and efforts, however small they may be, towards helping our Mayor develop our island home in the direction of our hopes and dreams.
Good luck to us all and let us all be "united for the future".
A message from our new Mayor
I would like to thank everyone for their participation in the voting and I look forward to cooperating with all the foreign residents of Paros towards a better future for our island.
Unity for the Future
(Enotita Gia to Mellon)