Questions arise over PASOK’s unity as elections near

There are some people within PASOK who are hoping that the party performs poorly in this month’s double elections so that they can challenge for the leadership, party president Evangelos Venizelos claimed on Friday.

Venizelos addressed PASOK’s parliamentary group with the aim of rallying support in the buildup to the first round of local elections on May 18 and the second round a week later, when European Parliament elections will also be held. He admitted, though, that PASOK goes into the contest somewhat divided.

“Our main aim is to reunite the country, but to do this the party must appear united,” he said while questioning whether some PASOK members were committed to the cause.

“We will all be judge in these elections: Those in this room and those who are absent,” added Venizelos in an apparent swipe at former leader George Papandreou, who did not attend the meeting due to other commitments.

Earlier in the week, Venizelos suggested that the coalition would not survive if PASOK performs poorly as part of the center-left Olive Tree alliance in the European Parliament elections. He denied on Friday that this suggested PASOK would quit the government of its own accord. However, he stressed it is “self-evident” that the coalition would likely collapse if the election results prove unfavorable.