Nikos Alivizatos, the head of an independent committee assigned to organize and supervise the election of a leader for a new center-left party coalition, urged progressive Greeks to participate in the nationwide poll on Sunday.
Asked by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Saturday what would be considered a success in the effort to unite center-left parties, Alivizatos said: «A large turnout. If we achieve it, then everything is easier.»
Though unifying the fragmented political space between Left and Right is the first goal, that will not be enough, the law professor said. «If the new head [of the party] and the new body do not articulate an innovative political discourse that resonates with the people, unity will prove transitory,» he explained.
Alivizatos said that since the shrinking of the socialist PASOK, the wider Center and Center-Left had remained «headless», with many personalities and moves claiming the space. However none of them were reliable and «at any case they don?t convince [people] of their seriousness.»
Asked whether it is odd that a leader is elected before the party with a distinct agenda has been formed, Alivizatos said the leadership candidates have clear positions.
«If you followed our election campaign, I am sure you will agree with me that the candidates articulated distinct political positions. Starting from the issue of [political] coalitions, to the electoral system and even Greek-Turkish relations, the opinions presented were anything but identical,» he explained.
Among the innovations introduced in the formation of the party, is the opportunity for voters to participate in the conferences that will follow the vote, by registering with the Election Committees on Sunday.
Asked how the professor intends to participate in the new body, he said he will only be a member after the elections.
«We should all understand that after November 20, the responsibility will belong to the new head [of the party]. He will make his mark. Of course, if he asks me for my opinion, I will obviously give it,» he said.
The first round of the election will be held from 08:00 to 20:00 (21:00 for Athens due to the Marathon Race) on Sunday in the roughly 1,000 polling stations identified on the website: www.dpekloges.gr (in Greek).
The nine candidates are: Nikos Androulakis, Konstantinos Gatsios, Fofi Gennimata, Stavros Theodorakis, Giorgos Kaminis, Yiannis Maniatis, Apostolos Pondas, Yiannis Ragousis and Dimitris Tziotis.
To participate, voters will have to pay three euros that will be used to pay for the electoral process. According to the website, anyone who «accepts the fundamental principles that have in the past inspired the progressive and democratic struggle in Greece, including democracy, respect for human rights and social justice» can participate in the process. The second round, if the first does not produce a winner, will be held on November 19, but citizens will have to vote in the first round to be eligible for the second. Voters select a candidate with a cross. On-line voting is not available.
To win, the candidate will have to secure 50 percent plus one votes. The second round will be between the two candidates that have secured most votes.