Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn makes slight gain in Greek elections
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Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn makes slight gain in Greek elections

Most of its leaders are in jail, but party won 7% of the vote and is still country’s third-largest

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos (AP/Petros Giannakouris)
Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS — The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party made slight gains in Greek elections, remaining the country’s third-largest party.

In Sunday’s balloting, the fifth general election in the last six years and second since January, Golden Dawn received 6.9 percent of the vote, giving it 18 seats in the 300-member national parliament, with nearly all of the votes counted.

In the January elections, the party had received 6.3 percent of the vote and 17 seats. Analysts attributed the rise to lower voter turnout.

The far-left Syriza party under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won with nearly 36 percent of the vote, but fell just short of an overall majority under the country’s reinforced proportional representation system. The center-right New Democracy Party finished second with 28.1 percent.

Golden Dawn maintained its popularity despite most of its leaders being jailed amid an ongoing crackdown on the party leadership on charges of heading a violent criminal organization.

The party, which frequently uses Nazi imagery, has been accused of being behind dozens of racist attacks on immigrants. Its leaders have denied the existence of Nazi death camps and gas chambers.

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