Changes expected at Independent Greeks, Democratic Left

Democratic Left (DIMAR), the center-left party that was part of the governing coalition between June 2012 and June 2013, is facing the possibility of a split after winning just 1.2 percent in the European Parliament elections on Sunday.

Four DIMAR MPs said Tuesday that only under certain conditions will they attend the party conference that leader Fotis Kouvelis (photo) wants to hold to assess the fallout from the elections. They are demanding that the party changes direction and looks to cultivating ties with PASOK and To Potami as part of an effort to create a center-left alliance.

However, another five of the party’s lawmakers made it clear that they want DIMAR to move closer to SYRIZA. Led by Yiannis Panousis, the five deputies indicated that they want Kouvelis to stand aside so a new leader can take over.

The party saw its support drop dramatically from the June 2012 national elections, when it took 6.2 percent of the vote. The right-wing Independent Greeks also suffered a significant decline. They saw their share of the vote fall from 7.5 percent in 2012 to just 3.4 percent on Sunday.

Party leader Panos Kammenos has called a meeting of the Independent Greeks parliamentary group on Thursday. A congress will follow at a later date. Kammenos is not expected to come under the same pressure as Kouvelis but his MPs are keen for him to take the initiative in strengthening cooperation with other right-wing anti-austerity parties.