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SYRIZA Leadership Election Voted Down by Party Congress

Srefanos Kasselakis Syriza
SYRIZA congress attendees voted against new party elections which would challenge its current leader, Stefanos Kasselakis. Credit: Amna

The internal party elections thriller of the main Greek opposition party SYRIZA continued on Sunday as party leader Stefanos Kasselakis clashed with his only likely co-candidate, Olga Gerovasili, over the date of a potential new leadership vote.

The matter was eventually voted down by congress attendees through a proposal by three other prominent SYRIZA figures who opined that a new leadership vote was untimely and unnecessary.

“The masks have fallen, [and] we are not going to elections. We are going forward,” Kasselakis said after the vote.

MP and former Minister Gerovasili declared her candidacy on Saturday after Kasselakis had challenged on Thursday those who doubt his leadership to “find him an opponent” and go to fresh party elections just five months after he took over as party chairman.

New leadership election voted down by SYRIZA members

In his Sunday morning speech, SYRIZA leader Kasselakis called for “clean solutions” and a leadership election on March 10th “so that the winner has time for the difficult battle of the European Parliament elections, for an open horizon to the national elections, to put together the deeply wounded SYRIZA without backstabbing, without suffocating deadlines, without intermediate deadlines, without arbitrary conditions,” AMNA reports.

Parliament Vice-President Olga Gerovasili, the only member who would stand against Kasselakis for the party leadership, disagreed to the procedure going forward in any less than a month’s time.

She countered that if Kasselakis withdrew his challenge to the party to find him a rival, “we stop here,” and added: “Now, if you want elections in 10 days…have them yourself and see what you get.”

Kasselakis replied to Gerovasili, asking her to withdraw her candidacy so that the matter be dropped to which Gerovasili responded by saying that it was up to the congress to decide and that she was not the one who proposed new elections in the first place.

The matter was then put to a vote and was voted down by attendees.

The decision was made by delegates holding up their cards in support of a joint proposal submitted by SYRIZA-PA Parliamentary Group President Sokratis Famellos, along with Nikos Pappas and Giorgos Tsipras, to not hold a leadership election and for the congress to reaffirm its confidence in the recently elected party chairman Kasselakis.

The latter posted on Twitter: “Take the party in your hands. It is yours. Some have a plan for a bad election result [for the party] at the European Parliament elections. Some want to charge the failure on me, and take us to a new [boxing] ring.”

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