ATHENS – Dissidents who left the SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance over the new leadership of Stefanos Kasselakis are set to form a new parliamentary group with an eye toward creating a new leftist party to challenge him.
It’s led by 11 former SYRIZA lawmakers whose defection reduced the party’s seats in the 300-member Parliament from 47 to 36 along with those from the so-called Umbrella and 6 + 6 faction who had criticized Kasselakis.
It’s expected to be led by former economy and interior minister Alexis Charitsis with former labor minister Effi Acthsioglou – who had been the frontrunner to take over SYRIZA before Kasselakis’ surprise win, not taking a role yet.
That, said Kathimerini, was because she wants to avoid being criticized for earlier refusing to accept Kasselakis’ offer for a prominent position in SYRIZA as he tries to redirect the party more toward the center and away from radical roots.
No name has been chosen for what would be a new party that will further split Greece’s splintered left, the PASOK-KINAL center left having overtaken SYRIZA in surveys as the country’s major opposition to the ruling New Democracy.
Kasselakis had ejected some former SYRIZA members for denouncing his plans to recreate the party that has plummeted in popularity since he took over in June, replacing former leader and one-time premier Alexis Tsipras, who quit after being ousted in general elections by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.