With 54 percent of the vote counted, Syriza stood at 35.5 percent, with the conservative New Democracy at 28 percent while the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn was coming in third with 7.1 percent, followed closely by the once-mighty socialist PASOK party with 6.4 percent.
    
Abstention was high, at nearly 45 percent in an election-weary country with a traditionally high voter turnout. Syriza fell short of a governing majority in the 300-member parliament and was projected to win 145 seats. But he was expected to form a coalition government with ease.
    
Panos Kammenos, head of the small right-wing Independent Greeks party who was Tsipras' junior coalition partner in a short-lived seven-month government, was at 3.7 percent and 10 seats in parliament. He said he will once more join in a coalition.
    
"I am in contact with Alexis Tsipras...our new effort begins tomorrow (Monday)," he said.
    
Tsipras will receive the mandate to seek coalition partners from the country's president Monday, giving him three days to form a government.
    
New Democracy head Vangelis Meimarakis conceded defeat and called for a government to be formed quickly.

 

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