Greek referendum, 1946
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The referendum was the fourth since 1920 on the country's monarchy. The 1946 parliamentary elections, in which the right-wing parties achieved a landslide, had just taken place. The new conservative government of Konstantinos Tsaldaris was favorable to George II, but what influenced the result more was the atmosphere of imminent civil war.
The civil war convulsed Greece during two main periods: first between 1943 and 1944 between the communist-dominated EAM-ELAS partisans and the right-wing resistance groups and the collaborationist government, and again from 1946 until 1949. When the referendum took place, EAM-ELAS had been defeated in the Dekemvriana and forced to disarm in the Treaty of Varkiza, after which its members were persecuted by state-sponsored security and paramilitary groups ("White Terror"). This deepened the gulf between the Left and the centrist and right-wing parties, and polarized the political spectrum so that the centrist parties (that followed a more moderate but also more ambiguous policy) lost part of their power. The Communist Party of Greece boycotted both the elections and the referendum. George II symbolized the unity of the anti-communist forces, which partly explains the percentage of votes in his favour. The conservatives, along with Prime Minister Konstantinos Tsaldaris, supported him, whereas the centrists were divided. While the centrists regarded George II with displeasure, they did not want to be accused of being "accomplices" of the communists.
|Source: Nohlen & Stöver|