To Potami Defector Leaves Party Without Parliamentary Group

To Potami MP Giorgos Amyras resigned to become an Independent. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Christos Bonis, file)

ATHENS – After starting with a flurry of promise and publicity in 2014 to take on mainstream parties, the To Potami (The River) party is essentially gone, down to four lawmakers and stripped of parliamentary group status after Giorgos Amyras resigned to become an Independent.

That was another sign that Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ deal to rename the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is breaking up center-left parties and splintering off lawmakers as he hopes to broaden his base in an election year and surveys showing he’s far behind the major opposition New Democracy.

Amyras’ departure reduced the party’s representation to one below the minimum of five required for an elected party to be represented in Parliament.

In a statement Amyras said that it was with “sorrow” that he was leaving the party but that he had no choice with dissension in To Potami as leader Stavros Theodorakis said he would support the deal.

“I could not, as a parliamentary representative of the party, speak publicly on behalf of the party of which leading members have the opposite view to me on a major national issue,”  said Amyras.

Theodorakis and Spyros Lykoudis said they will vote for the deal to change the name of FYROM to North Macedonia while Giorgos Mavrotas leaning toward it and Grigoris Psarianos who opposes it.