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The Militant, 14 September 1946

Larissa Reed

Greek Tyrant Put on Throne
Through Fraud and Violence

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 37, 14 September 1946, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Martial law and the suppression of all civil liberties, formally lifted for a few days before and after the fraudulent plebiscite returning King George II to the throne, were reinstated last week, five days after the plebiscite.

The “election” was conducted in an atmosphere of terror, backed up by the guns and troops of British and U.S. imperialism.

Armed bands drove up to village booths and voted for the king. In several villages peasants voted for the king under threat of pistol butts. Wherever anti-monarchist observers protested, they were expelled from the polling places.

Threats, intimidation and force were supplemented by fraud.

Even Hitler would have envied the methods by which the hated George II was shoved back on the throne.

Arbitrary List

Out of a population of some eight millions, about a million and a half Greek citizens were permitted to vote. Since all lists of eligible voters had been destroyed during the occupation, these were arbitrarily selected. Their eligibility was determined by their loyalty to the king. The cards were stacked against the republic.

Moreover, a special system was set up for men in the armed forces and government employes. Special voting booths were used; an uncontrolled number of special voting certificates was issued. It was charged that since no effort was made to indicate on the certificate that a vote had been cast, these people voted not once, but many times. After voting in one area they used the same certificate to vote in other areas.

Buell Maben, chief of the UNRRA mission to Greece, according to an AP report of August 30, admitted “unauthorized use of UNRRA trucks for both military and political purposes.”

He said 400 UNRRA trucks were estimated to have been used to transport persons to a royalist rally. He confessed that in the Thessaly region from which he had just returned, as many as 40 trucks at a time were commandeered by the military and police to transport personnel, contrary to regulations.

Opponents of the monarchy claim these trucks were used for multiple voting to pack the vote in favor of the king.

Confusing Reports

Despite the presence in Greece of many reporters from the American press, their cabled reports of how the balloting was conducted, contradict each other. The capitalist press here is concerned only with fooling the American workers that a “free and democratic” election took place.

They all report that two slips were handed to each voter. A white slip was marked: "For King George.” A blank slip, which was colored, so that it could be seen through the tissue paper envelope, registered a vote for the republic.

Whoever used this slip, however, became a marked man, since it could be clearly seen how he had voted.

Reports on the voting issued by the Greek Ministry of the Interior make it appear that there were three categories of voting: For the King; For the Republic; and blank ballots. The last two categories counted for the Republic.

Figures Don’t Tally

But how reliable these reports are, can been seen by the final “official” tabulation, whieh topped off this panzer "election.” According to a September 4 UP dispatch, three sets of figures were given out – none of which agreed with the other.

The official breakdown placed the vote at 1,603,000. However, it listed the vote as: For King George, 1,135,675; anti-monarchy, 521,540 which totals 1,657,215. Simultaneously the Greek press was given figures showing the total vote as 1,673,933. This total was greater than the number of registered voters!

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