OPINION

Petty politics and desperate tactics

If you were thinking that the farce of last week’s municipal and prefectural elections was over, you had better think again, as we now have the countdown to the second round of the polls this coming Sunday. Those who were elected in the first round said whatever it was they had to say and now they are preparing to seize power in their municipality or prefecture with evident arrogance (in most cases) regarding the absoluteness of their majority. Then there are the «leftover» candidates: those who failed to secure the necessary 42 percent of votes to take office and who now have to run around seeking the support of those who finished third or fourth in the first round of elections, even if those candidates happen to be renegades from their own party who were the butt of their criticism on the eve of the polls. And in this «all or nothing» fight for votes in the second round of polls, we have heard statements from candidates that are provocative and insulting to our intelligence and to every concept of democracy. For instance, the current conservative mayor of a large town in the Peloponnese, who is in a close race for his post with a former deputy minister of PASOK, earlier this week proudly announced that his office would welcome those candidates who come in third and fourth place, who actually have a right to office space at the town hall anyway. Apart from the petty politicking ahead of Sunday’s second round there is also the spectacle of the «gladiators» from the first round fighting each other tooth and nail for the support of the runners-up. They evidently think that the voters who supported them will follow them wherever they choose to go, regardless of the political affiliation of the runners-up whom they choose to support. Have the candidates for local authority posts and party committees learned nothing from the increasingly evident public dissatisfaction, demonstrated by the high voter turnout in Sunday’s polls?