January 31, 1959

EDA-PAPANDREOU-RALLIS: According to sources, after the bill on municipal elections was tabled, talks began on the formation of a united opposition front to contest them. The leadership of the United Democratic Left (EDA) has reportedly submitted proposals to George Papandreou that he lead the electoral campaign and form a ticket in all the country’s municipalities among his friends. EDA apparently undertakes to support these lists, without demanding that it submit its own candidates. According to the same sources, Papandreou has agreed to these proposals, albeit with some reservations. If Papandreou refuses, EDA will approach other opposition leaders. Meanwhile in leftist circles, the idea of joining forces with the Liberals is meeting with strong opposition due to the stance taken by Sophocles Venizelos against EDA in statements made last August. Meanwhile the leader of the Progressive Party, Spyros Markezinis, is to draw up electoral lists of his own for Athens, Piraeus and the Cyclades. EDA has not ruled out supporting a rightist party candidate for mayor of Athens, but has refused to support any candidacy by Georgios Rallis due to the anti-communist campaign he has been waging for the past few months.