Questions about Evangelos Venizelos’s leadership of PASOK continued to be asked by party members on Friday despite the foreign minister dismissing internal criticism a day earlier as the complaints of “fifth columnists.”
Former Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis suggested that the Socialists should also hold a leadership contest when PASOK’s congress takes place later this year.
“The question of who will lead the effort to rebuild the center left is not one to be posed by me,” the PASOK MP told To Vima. “This will be posed by the grass roots, which will be represented at the congress, where the policies, personalities, leader and leadership team will be evaluated. The leader has to be chosen by the grass roots in an open process.”
Another deputy, Giorgos Dolios, suggested that a leadership contest could not be held at the same time as the congress because the party’s charter foresees the leader being elected by PASOK members and not conference delegates. Dolios, however, said that Venizelos was wrong to call his detractors within the party “fifth columnists.”
“He’s on the receiving end of all kinds of criticism regardless of whether it’s his fault,” said Dolios. “However, he should not have used these words because it insults people whose behavior bears no relation to that of fifth columnists.”