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Politics

Question of new leadership elections dominates SYRIZA-PA Congress; ‘Clear solutions the answer,’ sources say

February 24, 2024

ATHENS – The 4th Congress of main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance continued on Saturday, with the question of whether to hold a new leadership election dominating the speeches and private discussions.

After party leader Stefanos Kasselakis replied to criticism by saying he was willing to have his leadership reaffirmed in a second vote by the party’s grassroots members, provided a rival candidate is found, many delegates argued that this would negatively impact the party’s unity and should wait until after the European elections.

In response to this proposal, however, sources close to Kasselakis responded that the “answer is clear solutions.” They said this means going back to the grassroots base to settle the issue.

Interest is now focused on former minister Olga Gerovasili, who has been suggested as a possible rival candidate to Kasselakis and the party’s upper echelons.

Some delegates addressing the congress identified the infighting within SYRIZA-PA as the culprit for the party’s poor fortunes in opinion polls, saying it was being “politically sabotaged”, and criticised those who disputed the results of the first leadership election by the party’s rank-and-file membership, pointing out that they had voted in favour of the election procedure but were not accepting its result. “They are the officials that want to have the last word on everything to find a broad enough chair to fit their ambitions,” said MP Kyriaki Malama, while delegate Hara Kafantari accused members of “putting I above we” and not understanding that “our congress concerns society”.

Gerovasili, in a post on social media, announced that her speech to the congress is scheduled for 19:00 on Saturday.

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