SYRIZA to cut loose controversial candidate

Members of the political secretariat of leftist SYRIZA are to meet on Friday to decide how best to dissociate the party from journalist Theodoros Karypidis (photo), who was to run for the post of Western Macedonia’s regional governor on SYRIZA’s ticket in the May elections until recent comments of his, perceived to be anti-Semitic, fueled controversy.

The secretariat is to convene in the absence of SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who begins a visit to Italy on Friday. The party had issued no official statement by late Thurdsday night as, according to sources, cadres are seeking a formula that would wreak the least damage on the party. The ideal scenario was Karypidis withdrawing without criticizing the party. But attempts to secure this development were fruitless.

According to sources, many blamed SYRIZA’s secretary, Dimitris Vitsas, and its official for local government, Costas Poulakis, for the furor, suggesting that Karypidis should have been vetted more carefully. The controversy was triggered by Karypidis’s posts on Facebook that were interpreted as anti-Semitic and supportive of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.

Many within SYRIZA also want a review of the candidacy of Odysseas Voudouris, an independent MP, due to his previous support for the memorandum.