OPINION

Election strategies

The European elections taking place next month, however insignificant they may seem now, will bring fresh dynamism to the political scene and spur debate. This is why the executive committees of political parties, although trying to underplay the significance of the polls, are feverishly planning their election strategies. Despite opinion polls that show New Democracy sustaining a comfortable lead, officials of the ruling party are busy considering goals and prospects. ND’s executive committee believes it would be extremely detrimental for the party to lose votes to the extreme right. And so it is seeking a solution which will not harm ND’s centrist profile but will also block an outflow of voters to the extreme right. The committee believes that the way the government has handled the Cyprus problem and the Church dispute has been positive; meanwhile, certain top cadres are likely to be in the front line of efforts to minimize the appeal of right-wing LAOS party leader Giorgos Karadzaferis. At the same time, ND is hoping that PASOK will lose some votes – especially from non-PASOK voters who voted for Costas Simitis, those disappointed by the previous government’s handling of the Cyprus problem, and some left-wing voters pleased by the new government’s achievements. As for their chief rival, George Papandreou, ND believes that a fresh electoral defeat will create more problems for him and will fuel dissent within his party…