Some surprises among SYRIZA election hopefuls

Rachil Makri, the former Independent Greeks MP who spent the last few months as a nonaligned lawmaker, was the surprise inclusion on Friday in SYRIZA’s list of candidates for the upcoming general elections.

It appeared that the outspoken Makri wouldn’t be included among the leftist hopefuls but SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras pushed for her to represent the party in Kozani, northern Greece, despite her past as a member of the right-wing Independent Greeks.

There was also a surprise last-minute inclusion of Ilias Livanis, the son of publisher Antonis Livanis, who was also one of late Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou’s closest aides. Former PASOK MPs Theodora Tzakri and Theodoros Parastatidis were included on SYRIZA’s list.

There was no place on SYRIZA’s ticket for comedian Harry Klynn. It was also decided that MEP and WWII hero Manolis Glezos would not run. The leftists failed to reach an agreement with former Economy Minister Louka Katseli.

Two other politicians who served in the PASOK government of late 2009, Dimitris Reppas and Haris Kastanidis, announced that they would not be standing as candidates for the Movement of Democratic Socialists, launched by ex-Prime Minister George Papandreou last weekend.

Papandreou has started campaigning around the country to drum up support for his party, which polls currently show below the 3 percent threshold to enter Parliament.