SYRIZA clash in­ten­si­fies

Rebels ex­change barbs with gov’t as par­ties pre­pare to draft can­di­date lists

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The row be­tween SYRIZA and the rebels that broke away to form their own group on Fri­day in­ten­si­fied over the week­end as Greece’s par­ties pre­pare their can­di­date lists for the up­com­ing snap elec­tions.

The new left­ist party, Pop­u­lar Unity, com­pris­ing 25 break­away MPs from SYRIZA, took the op­por­tu­nity to lash out at the gov­ern­ment over the week­end. In a state­ment, the party said the gov­ern­ment’s claim to have ne­go­ti­ated with the coun­try’s lenders was a “eu­phemism” as it led to the coun­try’s third bailout. The party also ac­cused Tsipras’s aides of “con­fus­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship of the mem­o­ran­dum with the demo­cratic op­er­a­tion of in­sti­tu­tions.” That com­ment was a re­ac­tion to an ear­lier state­ment is­sued by Tsipras’s press of­fice, ac­cus­ing Par­lia­ment Speaker Zoe Con­stan­topoulou of “act­ing like a dic­ta­tor” and say­ing that she was “a wrong choice.”

SYRIZA is ex­pected to start whit­tling down its list of elec­tion can­di­dates this week. The fact that the Pop­u­lar Unity rebels de­fected be­fore this process has be­gun is likely to make Tsipras’s task eas­ier. Party sources told Kathimerini that the de­fec­tions also pro­vide Tsipras with the op­por­tu­nity to in­vite can­di­dates of other po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sions to join the SYRIZA ticket.

In con­trast, New Democ­racy leader Evan­ge­los Meimarakis is ex­pected to make lim­ited changes to his party’s can­di­date lists. The only ex­cep­tion might be the state list of can­di­dates, who are not elected to Par­lia­ment di­rectly by vot­ers but ac­cord­ing to the pro­por­tion of the over­all vote that each party re­ceives.

Meimarakis spoke with his pre­de­ces­sors Costas Kara­man­lis and An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras over the week­end to en­sure that they will both be on board for the cam­paign.

In an in­ter­view with Sun­day’s Kathimerini, PA­SOK leader Fofi Gen­ni­mata pledged that she would in­clude new can­di­dates on the So­cial­ist party’s ticket but also called on mem­bers and sup­port­ers who have drifted away in re­cent years to re­turn.

“Unity, re­newal and ex­pan­sion is the trip­tych that can lead to the cre­ation of the demo­cratic and pro­gres­sive al­liance the coun­try needs,” she said.

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