After the conclusion of the works by the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) the Central Committee published the following statement:
“The works of the 19th Congress of the KKE have been concluded with the election of the new Central Committee which, after it’s first meeting, elected Dimitris Koutsoumpas as the new Secretary General”.
Dimitris Koutsoumpas succeeds Aleka Papariga who was Secretary General of the KKE since 1991. In recent years, her vehement stand against austerity measures being imposed by the government on the orders of international lenders hasn’t boosted the party’s popularity and it now languishes near the bottom in voter support and has a marginal representation in the Parliament, holding only 12 of 300 seats.
After 22 years of leading Greece’s KKE Communist party, which is languishing near the bottom of opinion polls and is a marginal entity in the Greek Parliament with almost no influence, Aleka Papariga could be stepping down, the Athens newspaper Kathimerini reported.
Papariga had hinted at the possibility of stepping down in recent interviews with local media. Speaking to Kathimerini in March, she said it was up to the party’s congress to determine its next leadership, while in the beginning of the year, she had told Mega television station that KKE had developed a new generation of highly capable party officials.
She was the first woman to head a major political party in Greece although the Communist’s role has been marginalized for years and has little following beyond that of symbolic. KKE was outlawed after the Greek Civil War but legalized again by Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis in 1974.
Papariga, 67, started in politics as a peace activist and joined KKE in 1968, at a time it was still banned by the ruling right-wing military junta repressive dictatorship.