Op-Ed/Has the political system turned upside down with Mitsotakis’ election?

Op-Ed/Has the political system turned upside down with Mitsotakis’ election?

Athens, January 13, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Reading the newspapers, domestic and foreign, one has the feeling that the election of Kyriakos Mitsotakis was for the position of the Prime Minister and not the position of the leader of the Main Opposition.

First page publications disolve parties to cooperate with the New Democracy of Kyriakos, editorials broaden the electoral base of the conservative faction from the extreme right to the edge of the center-left, while it won’t come as a surprise to read an article on his invitation by the President of the Republic, in order to take over as Prime Minister in place of the “loser” of the election of the ND, Alexis Tsipras.

It is true that it is an idiom of the Greeks to create fictional stories and exaggerate events and situations from scratch. One of the many ills of this people.

But are things so? Has Kyriakos Mitsotakis really rocked the political scene overnight? Does his election victory form a new setting?

The election victory, although it was a surprise to most analysts, a closer reading of the last election days would have brought them closer to the result of January 10.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis won, but with a relatively small difference, which does not leave his any room to feel like the absolute leader in the ND. There is opposition and it is strong. In a difficult situation for the party the new leader of ND will be the first to pay the mistake of some to speak of the end of Karamanlism in ND. Karamanlism is in the DNA of the New Democracy voter and this is not something that can be erased that easily.

Many say he is the rival for Alexis Tsipras and the only one to make serious opposition. Truly, where will Kyriakos make opposition to Alexis? In the neoliberal measures demanded by lenders and which are his policy guide? Or in social issues, with a positive sign for the society, which the Tsipras government is trying to pass?

How can he penetrate the space of the center-left and approach MPs who get sick just by hearing the word neoliberalism? Taking MPs from The River, or the Centre Union is not such a great feat; these parties are on decline and both their future and the future of their MPs is uncertain. In any case, who would stand for to be included in a ballot of the ND a former MP of these parties and leave out MPs who have served as parliamentarians for ND? There are over 100 former MPs in the main opposition party with a strong “clientele” in their regions.

Who can really organize a party that is in decay and which since 2009 has changed four presidents and has two former prime ministers in its ranks, with everything this entails?

The questions are many for Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the difficulties even more. If he wants to be something different and leave his mark on the political scene of Greece, he should consider very carefully the way to follow at this particular moment.

But perhaps what he is thinking right now is how much better it would be if he had lost the elections.