The second election victory of SYRIZA, in September 2015, certified its widened percolation in the centre-left circle. Because of this, the once powerful PASOK party and the newly established political groups that cropped up due to the economic crisis, were “obliged” to redefine their political strategies.
For about two years, there were discussions between the political groups of the centre so as to find the happy medium that would allow the creation of a new body able to bring back older voters-believers. Though the difficulties were many, among them a possible future failure, PASOK took charge aiming to unite the field.
Disagreements were acute but the efforts resulted first in the election of a new leader and then the creation of a united centre-left body. The whole project was unprecedented but based on logic.
Apparently, voting for a new leader after the establishment of the particular body could –for various reasons- give birth to separatist tendencies, causing unsteadiness to the freshly established body from the very beginning of its existence. But, the election of the head of it first and then the creation of the actual body helped in the avoidance of potential problems. And this was clear shortly after the end of the voting when POTAMI party members doubted the cooperative nature of the body and suggested that after a (party) convention –that should be rganised- their party should move autonomously.
The results of the first round with Fofi Gennimata and Nikos Androulakis leading the vote feels normal. They did not prevail because of ideological factors but due to practical ones. PASOK is a “veteran” political party so, it has the know-how of stimulating its members fast and efficiently if and when needed. This was understood by the way they voted. Getting back to Gennimata and Androulakis, they are both aware of how things work since she is PASOK’s head and he used to be the party’s Secretary.
On one hand, the total defeat of the other candidates proves that PASOK’s old spirit and soul, Andreas Papandreou is still “alive” in the hearts of its supporters. On the other hand, it proves how weak this new system is since it cannot appeal to voters of the centre. Non-PASOK candidates Giorgos Kaminis and Stavros Theodorakis did not manage to lead this “play”, something that bluntly proved the ideological marginalization of the field that believes in a few people only.
Photo (Library): Alexandros Zontanos/Eurokinissi
The voters were more than 200,000, a figure that caused the enthusiasm of many but at the same time, experts do not consider it a satisfying number comparing it with the 2015 figures –back then, there were 300 ballot boxes across Greece and slightly more than 50,000 people voted for the party’s new head. Thus, now, with 1,000 ballot boxes around the country and candidates of four parties to choose from, the 200,000 voters are seen as few. Since numbers are excruciatingly clear, the new body should pay extra attention to them and decode them the right way.
Next Sunday is the big day when everyone will know who the new leader is. This identity of this person will assist experts understand more about the future image of the centre-left. Possibly, the tendency to stick to the past still holding the PASOK flag high will not inspire those who got disappointed by SYRIZA and would want a change. The truth is that centre-left had its chances for something totally fresh, not only people wise but ideologically and suggestion wise. So, recycling PASOK only makes Alexis Tsipras and SYRIZA stronger…/IBNA
(Main) Photo: ERT site