Democratic Left mulls strategy as SYRIZA eyes cooperation

Legislators of Democratic Left (DIMAR), a former coalition partner which suffered a battering in last week’s European Parliament elections, met on Friday to discuss strategy and rejected an offer by party leader Fotis Kouvelis to resign from his post.

According to sources, discussion at the session of the party’s executive committee focused on assessing the reasons that DIMAR performed so badly in the elections, garnering just 1.2 percent of the vote, and discussing ways to safeguard its political survival. The committee members rejected Kouvelis’s resignation, which he had offered earlier this week, and agreed to hold a session of the party’s central committee next weekend to assess the party’s prospects in more detail.

Leftist SYRIZA, which came first in the European elections, is said to be closely watching developments in DIMAR with a view to future cooperations. “Our priority is for DIMAR to succeed in rebuilding itself and to remain a united party,” one SYRIZA source told Kathimerini, saying the party’s collapse and the migration of some of its MPs toward SYRIZA was “secondary.”

Meanwhile SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who is the leftist candidate for the post of European Commission president, proposed that Jean-Claude Juncker, the European People’s Party candidate, should be the first to bid for the role as the latter secured the lead in the elections. “It is my position that the European Council should not nominate any candidate for the Presidency of the Commission who did not compete in this election,” Tsipras said.