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Greek PM Antonis Samaras concedes election defeat
Monday January 26, 2015 6:51 AM, IANS

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras admitted defeat to Radical Left SYRIZA party after the announcement of the first official results of the critical general elections.

"Greek people have spoken. We all respect the electorate's choice," the conservative leader told media shortly after calling SYRIZA's leader Alexis Tsipras for congratulations, Xinhua reported.

Anti-bailout SYRIZA party was heading for a historic victory garnering about 35.8 percent of votes against 28.3 percent for the New Democracy (ND) party according to the official Interior Ministry estimates with approximately 51 percent of votes counted.

It was yet unclear whether the Radical Left party would secure enough seats to rule the country on its own, but it will be the first time in Greece's modern history that a Left party leads a government after WWII.

Samaras called on the next government to continue on the reform drive launched five years ago in parallel with austerity to address the debt crisis, which brought the country to the brink of default.

"I honestly hope my predictions will be proved wrong," the outgoing Premier concluded, stressing that he leaves office with Greece as a member state of the European Union and the euro zone.

SYRIZA's pre-election promises to hold tough renegotiations with international lenders over the post- bailout ties and the sustainability of Greece's sovereign debt, have revived concern over a potential rift with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund creditors, a Greek bankruptcy and exit from the euro zone.

Samaras who won the 2012 elections and led a two-party coalition government with the socialists underlined on Sunday that his government restored economic stability and set the foundations for return to growth.

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