By Dimitris Bekiaris
All the latest polls are clearly reflecting the sharp decline of the Mitsotakis government. The disastrous mismanagement of the pandemic, the financial crisis sweeping the market, as well as the middle and lower classes, the catastrophic failures in foreign policy (of which more are bound to come), the attacks of the authoritarian state against its citizens, the scandals of pedophilia, sexual abuse and corruption, and, finally, the serious intra-party problems that Mitsotakis is facing, are shattering the poll percentages of New Democracy.
Nevertheless, at the same time, it is a common consensus among pollsters and political analysts that SYRIZA and Alexis Tsipras demonstrate an unprecedented – in Greek political history – inability to reap the benefits of the degeneration of Mitsotakis and his government.
Furthermore, the official opposition party is sinking into a vortex of introversion, which ultimately greatly hinders the exercise of effective opposition.
It may be too early to talk about this, although at the current juncture the scenarios about early elections are gaining ground, but it is mathematically certain, as it is subject to the infallible “laws” that govern the functioning of political parties in the bourgeois parliamentary democracy, that if SYRIZA and Alexis Tsipras lose ground or suffer a defeat in the next election, the issue of new party leadership will be raised.
Supporters of the president, political executives, analysts, columnists, and journalists are making sure to remind everyone, by sending messages to political and intra-party enemies, as well as to specific structured interests, that Alexis Tsipras is the trump card of SYRIZA and its only hope to become government once again. As they say, a SYRIZA government and Alexis Tsipras are two identical concepts in the collective consciousness.
They are right, but it is worth emphasizing that the laws that govern the bourgeois parliamentary democracy and the ruling parties are impossible to overcome.
Alexis Tsipras knows this better than anyone. Along with his intra-party life in SYRIZA, the competitive or even confrontational relationship that has developed between the various intra-party blocs, factions and groups, and, in parallel with the processes and the procedural framework that define the development of the party mechanism and the match-up between partisan and social SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras and his innermost circle are discussing all the possible outcomes.
Among those, is what will happen in the event of a new electoral defeat of SYRIZA. The question that will be posed by intra-party opponents, as well as by the anti-SYRIZA front that will attempt to get rid of the former prime minister and current president of SYRIZA in case of another electoral defeat by K. Mitsotakis, is the following: “How many times does one have to lose in order to quit the leadership?” Alexis Tsipras is already counting three defeats by Kyriakos Mitsotakis. One in the European elections of 2019, another one in the national election of the same year and, finally, the crushing defeat in the last local elections.
But how does the president of SYRIZA respond to all the above?
Alexis Tsipras is not ready to quit, even if he loses the next elections.
According to a very well-informed source, who is highly aware of the developments in SYRIZA, even behind closed doors in the party’s headquarters, “Alexis will not surrender, even if he loses ground, even if he loses the elections again.”
Of course, this discussion does not take place on a partisan or administrative level, but, actually, between groups operating within and around the party or, if you will, on a personal level, in private talks.
The decision taken by Alexis Tsipras and the scenarios he is working on with his close circle of trusted people have led him to the following resolution: “Maneuver”!
Now, let’s take a look into the backstage:
Last winter, Alexis Tsipras himself, speaking to a small circle of people, hinted that he was oriented towards the prevalence of a scenario that corresponds to the model adopted by the German SPD, ie the model of twin leadership, in which the party leadership and administration are jointly exercised by the president and the co-president.
In the event of a new electoral defeat and if the political developments and the intra-party procedures are accelerated, always according to the aforementioned scenario, Alexis Tsipras would propose Effie Achtsioglou ( who’s always willing to fulfill whatever task is asked of her) as his successor in the presidency of SYRIZA. As long as the political developments favor the confirmation of such a scenario, it is self-evident that the real power, the power of the leader, will remain in the hands of Alexis Tsipras, who will be holding the position of co-president, until he returns to the leadership of the party and, eventually, becomes prime minister of Greece once again. (the “Pythias” place such a scenario between 2025 and 2027).
A second, much weaker scenario, which Alexis Tsipras is elaborating together with the “directorate” that supports him, is to resort to threatening all the intra-party fronts that even if he loses the election, he will establish his own political party. A well-informed source claims that Alexis Tsipras himself has expressed the certainty that the majority of MPs and executives will follow him and not some other faction, in such a case.
To be continued