Venizelos eyes exit from PASOK's successor party; outgoing Athens mayor to top KINAL's state deputies' list

Saturday, 01 June 2019 21:34
Menelaos Myrillas / SOOC/Menelaos Myrillas

Event organised by PASOK democratic coalition, in Athens, on Dec. 16, 2015 / Εκδήλωση του ΠΑΣΟΚ δημοκρατική συμπαράταξη, στην Αθήνα, στις 16 ΔΕκεμβρίου, 2015

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High-profile PASOK cadre Evangelos Venizelos, who's served as a minister in several governments since the late 1990s and as the party's president, appears headed towards an "exit" from PASOK's successor formation, the Kinima Allaghis (Movement for Change or KINAL).

The abrupt weekend political development, which has temporarily sidelined Sunday's second round of municipal and regional government elections as well as the after-shocks from last week's electoral collapse by ruling SYRIZA party, came after a distinct falling out between Venizelos and party leader Fofi Gennimata.

The reason is Gennimata's decision to place outgoing Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis at the top of the social democrat party's state deputies list. Based on the percentage of votes a party picks up in Greece's general election, it elects a number of deputies from the 12-candidate list, in ascending order. Based on current projections for the July 7 race, Kinima is expected to elect one candidate - the first in order - from its state deputies' list, with Kaminis being the selection of Gennimata.

Later reports quoting sources from within the party, all unnamed, said Venizelos insisted on an "all or nothing" position.

In a written statement issued by Venizelos' office, the former deputy prime minister in a coalition government with ND's Antonis Samaras, confirmed that Gennimata said she was opting for Kaminis as the first name on the state deputies' list, while requesting that Venizelos occupy the "honorary" 12th place.

"I expressed my certainty that she fully realizes the political consequences of her decision. I did not wish her success in a plan that renders KINAL as SYRIZA's caboose, but I thanked her because I will now have the opportunity, without partisan party commitments, to dynamically defend my positions for the future of our country," his statement read.

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