The ongoing political strife within Greece’s major opposition party, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance continues, as the expected departure of the 6+6 members was formally “sealed” today, effectively leading to the formation of a new political group in the Parliament.
The members of the Achtsioglou team have parted ways with the SYRIZA Progressive Alliance, with the MPs announcing their independence to the President of the Parliament, Konstantinos Tasoulas.
“While Stefanos Kasselakis emerged through democratic processes, his current trajectory raises concerns about its anti-democratic undertones. The dissolution of SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance under his leadership has transformed it into a shapeless entity, all the while projecting a political image characterized by a hodgepodge of conflicting views, lacking any substantive programmatic depth,” an excerpt of the letter of departure read.
The MPs of the “6+6” team leaving SYRIZA are Efi Achtsioglou (a former Minister), Sia Anagnostopoulou, Hussein Zeimpek, Nasos Iliopoulos, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, Meropi Tzoufi, Ferhat Özgür, Theano Fotiou, and Alexis Charitsis.
The final decisions were made yesterday, although the framework for this split was set in motion last Sunday during the extensive virtual session of the group.
The departing MPs, along with Euclid Tsakalotos – former Finance Minister under Alexis Tsipras, and Peti Perka, will form a new Central Committee.
Yesterday, 90 members left the party’s Human Rights division along with about 40 regional executives and members from overseas organizations, such as Professor of International Public Law at Oxford, Antonis Tzanakopoulos.
The reaction of SYRIZA President Stefanos Kasselakis to this development, a foregone conclusion for pundits and commentators alike in local politics, is expected with interest. What is of more significance, however, is how he intends to navigate the new political landscape on the left, and the plans he might be considering to counter this new reality.
Although SYRIZA is expected to request the departing members, who were voted in under SYRIZA in the June national elections, to relinquish their seats, it is highly doubtful they will oblige.