PASOK rejected over the weekend a proposal by Former Prime Minister George Papandreou for the party to call an emergency convention and leadership election.
After a meeting on Thursday between PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and his predecessor Papandreou, the latter sent a letter to the party chief, proposing an emergency convention and a subsequent election where party voters would decide on a new leader. He also expressed his disagreement over changing the party’s name to “Democratic Alignment.”
In his letter, Papandreou said that today’s PASOK has nothing to do with the mighty party of the past and that it is in its death throes. He implied that the current leadership has no respect for PASOK and that it has forgotten the democratic, progressive principles that made it a great party in the past. He also said that he will honor his parliament seat until the next elections.
It is clear that Papandreou wants to be more politically active and that he will refuse to be in the Democratic Alignment ticket. Political analysts say that it is possible that he will start a new party.
PASOK’s answer came a day later, in a lengthy and caustic statement, underscoring the hostility between Venizelos and Papandreou. It said that PASOK will move forward for the convention in January 2015, true to the decisions taken in the 2013 party convention.
The statement underlined the efforts and sacrifices made by PASOK in the coalition government in order for Greece to come out of the economic crisis. It also indirectly accused Papandreou of trying to destabilize PASOK and of miserable introversion. “We will not allow anyone to disrupt PASOK and the Democratic Alignment,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Venizelos on Friday secured the support of another former PASOK premier, Costas Simitis, for the Democratic Alignment. After the meeting, Simitis’ office commented on the new party, saying it is “a significant step.”