Two SYRIZA MEPs voted against a European Parliament motion to recognize Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as de facto head of state on Thursday, urging the bloc’s 28 governments to also consider the opposition leader as “the only legitimate interim president” until there were “new free, transparent and credible presidential elections” in the troubled Latin American nation.
The decision was passed with 439 votes in favor to 104 votes against – including those of SYRIZA MEPs Stelios Kouloglou and Constantina Kouneva – with 88 abstentions, at a special session in Brussels following Guaido's declaration as interim president last week in a bid to oust socialist incumbent Nicolas Maduro.
SYRIZA came under fire last week for expressing its support for the embattled Maduro, who is being accused of serious human rights violations and of rigging last year's elections.
The motion to recognize Guaido was supported by Greek MEPs Notis Marias from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group; independent Costas Chrysogonos from the Unified European Left; New Democracy's Manolis Kefalogiannis, Giorgos Kyrtsos and Maria Spyraki from the European People's Party (EPP); and Nikos Androulakis (PASOK), and centrist To Potami's Giorgos Grammatikakis and Miltiadis Kyrkos from the European Socialists.
Voting against the motion from the Greek side were Kouloglou and Kouneva from the Unified European left, and Constantinos Papadakis and Sotiris Zarianopoulos, both non-attached MEPs and members of the Greek Communist Party (KKE).
Greek abstainers were Giorgos Epitidios, Lambros Fountoulis and Eleftherios Synadinos, from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.
Commenting on the vote, New Democracy said that the SYRIZA MEPs' decision to back Maduro does not “defend the values of the European Union, is an affront to the democratic sensibilities of the Greek people and show complete disregard for the tormented people of Venezuela.”