Popular Unity: Not Popular Enough to Take a Seat in Greek Parliament



The word Popular by definition means liked or admired by many people or by a particular person or group, however this was not the case for ‘Popular Unity’ (Laiki Enotita in Greek), a new party formed by SYRIZA dissidents.

Popular Unity formulated as a makeshift party in August, however, it failed to be credible enough for Greek voters to elect them to the parliament, or make changes to the current course of Greek politics.

Popular Unity members accused former PM Tsipras of backtracking on his pre-electoral promises and emulating his bailout-endorsing predecessors. From this disdain for Tsipras’ changing policy decisions Popular Unity was formed.

The Popular party took a hard line on the plan that Greece was supposedly blackmailed into and set to push them further into economic turmoil. Yet, maybe, Popular Unity was, too new a force to the game of politics even though its leaders were decades old students.

Popular Unity chose Panagiotis Lafazanis, who has a 25+ record of political involvement as its leader, while Zoe Konstantopoulou often represented the party in the media. Although, Konstantopoulou has a shorter career beginning in 2009, she has a long political lineage, her father Nikos Konstantopoulou was the chairman of the former leftist Synaspismos.

Today, their parting words to supporters and the people of Greece was “we lost the game but not the war”. Clearly disappointed by their inability to acquire the necessary votes to execute an alternative to a third bailout.

“It is not true that there was no alternative and it is not true that there were no alternative proposals submitted,” Konstantopoulou has been quoted as saying in previous weeks, and added that she made specific proposals to the government following the February 20 Eurogroup agreement. She further questioned why the widespread notion that the Greek debt is unsustainable is no longer being pressed by the Greek government.

Popular Unity, was not able to reach the 3% electoral threshold in order to be represented in parliament. And with about 2,8% of the vote, inevitably, they weren’t as popular as they thought.