Controversy over a new center-left party expected to be formed by the end of the year erupted on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after a televised debate between the nine candidates for its leadership.
Though Monday night’s debate on state broadcaster ERT was carried out without drama, one of the candidates, Yiannis Ragousis – a former minister and a strong presence in socialist PASOK – on Tuesday accused the leader of his party as well as of centrist To Potami of having struck an under-the-table deal to retain their parliamentary groups after the formation of the new party.
“This secret agreement injures in the worst possible way efforts for unifying the center-left,” Ragousis said, calling on PASOK’s Fofi Gennimata and Potami’s Stavros Theodorakis to publicly rescind the agreement and throw all their weight behind the new, as yet unnamed, party.
“Otherwise, there will be a serious issue of moral and political order that threatens the foundation of unification,” Ragousis added.
The leader of Democratic Left (DIMAR), Thanasis Theocharopoulos, also criticized the announcement of the deal at Monday night’s debate.
“The parliamentary groups of Democratic Alignment-PASOK, DIMAR and To Potami have to be unified within 2017 into a single powerful parliamentary group,” he said. “The endeavor requires everyone’s complete commitment.”