Mayors and municipal councilors are set to be elected on separate tickets at local elections in May, according to plans that have been approved by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras but which still need Parliament’s backing.

Samaras met Monday evening with PASOK leader and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos to discuss a range of issues. The subject of the upcoming municipal elections was also raised as the government is concerned about the threat it faces from SYRIZA on the left and Golden Dawn on the extreme right.

As such, Samaras has proposed that voters be allowed to choose separately which mayors and which councilors they want, as opposed the existing system where they are elected on the same ticket. Mayors will continue to be elected only if they receive support of 42 percent or more, with a second runoff ballot between the two leading contenders being held if needed.