ATHENS – Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras appealed to all Greek citizens to take part in SYRIZA’s upcoming leadership election, noting that the election will be an opportunity to send a message to the government.
Speaking during a televised interview on Kontra Channel late on Thursday, Tsipras said that a large turnout for the party’s election process this Sunday will send a clear message of a desire for political change, noting that the election was open to all citizens and not just party members.
Asked about the aims of the election process, SYRIZA’s leader noted that a “party that governed and got up to 2.5 million votes cannot have just 25,000 members…a personal and collective goal is for the party SYRIZA to correspond with the social SYRIZA.” The aim was to send a clear message for political change as a first step toward victory in the general elections, while he predicted that this trend will be confirmed on Sunday.
During the interview, he accused ruling New Democracy of operating on “Byzantine terms” and lacking internal democracy and the government of “unconditional surrender” to the United States through its signature of the revised Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), without getting anything in exchange.
He also criticised the government’s handling of energy issues and said it had attempted to manipulate the independent Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) to protect the energy companies’ windfall profits, while he accused Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of “working for the elite and not the citizens.”
On the issue of post-election cooperation between parties, Tsipras was confident that a government could be formed on the first Sunday after elections are held with simple proportional representation.
“In order for political change to come about and a progressive government to arise, SYRIZA must come first and with some difference. The crucial elections will be with simple proportional representation. Second elections may not be needed. We believe that the country can be led by coalition governments with progressive agreements from the first Sunday. The percentages will allow a government from the first Sunday and the maturity of the political forces will be judged,” he said.