DIMAR future undecided as MPs look to exit

Key decisions on the future of Democratic Left (DIMAR) have been put off until the party’s central committee meets next Saturday, although by then two lawmakers may have left the center-left grouping.

A lengthy meeting of DIMAR’s parliamentary group on Friday failed to arrive at any conclusions, including whether Fotis Kouvelis should remain as party leader. Kouvelis tendered his resignation earlier in the week.

However, two MPs, Vassilis Economou and Grigoris Psarianos, failed to attend the meeting and may announce their departure from DIMAR this week. Both deputies are unhappy that DIMAR did not make a greater effort to enter a center-left alliance with PASOK before the European Parliament elections, from which the former coalition partner earned just 1.2 percent of the vote. PASOK’s Elia alliance received 8 percent.

“The leadership has to accept political responsibility for where we ended up,” said Spyros Lykoudis, another MP who has been critical of Kouvelis. “We have to change direction and start discussions with Elia and [centrist party] To Potami so we can play a part in forming the center-left’s core.”

SYRIZA called on DIMAR to make it clear if it intends to back the government’s candidate to succeed President Karolos Papoulias early next year. “We are asking Fotis Kouvelis to take a clear position,” said SYRIZA’s Dimitris Papadimoulis. “We want to know if he intends to work with New Democracy and PASOK to create a majority for the presidency.”