NEWS

Democratic Left split in wake of chief's resignation

Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis tendered his resignation on Wednesday ahead of a central committee meeting on Saturday but it might be too little to prevent a major split in the center-left party.

Kouvelis issued a statement announcing his intention to step down three days after his party took just 1.2 percent in the European Parliament elections, compared to 6.2 percent in the June 2012 general elections.

“The results... lead me, as I have a duty, to tender my resignation,” he said. “I have made every effort to promote and defend the democratic values that define our party.”

However, several DIMAR lawmakers that spoke to Kathimerini said they doubted whether Kouvelis intends to stand aside. They believe that he hopes his resignation will be rejected by the central committee. “I am sure his resignation today is final and irreversible so that the path for a successor can open and that he is not doing it so he can be re-elected,” said Yiannis Panousis with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Panousis heads a group of five MPs that would like DIMAR to move closer to SYRIZA. However, there is a rival group of four MPs that want DIMAR to cultivate ties with PASOK and To Potami as part of an effort to create a center-left alliance. Kouvelis has rejected offers of cooperation from PASOK in the past.

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