Centrist Potami needs shake-up to survive, says MP

17 January 2016
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The election of Kyriakos Mitsotakis as New Democracy leader has prompted opposition parties with whom the conservatives now may be vying for votes to consider how to improve their appeal, as well as to begin discussing changes to the electoral law.

PASOK has already lost one MP in the wake of Mistotakis’s victory, as Socialist leader Fofi Gennimata ousted Leonidas Grigorakos for claiming lawmakers from his part may support New Democracy. However, centrist To Potami is also considering its position as Mitsotakis is likely to target its voters.

“It is clear that since New Democracy’s new leader has more centrist characteristics he will be more attractive to center ground voters,” Potami MP Haris Theoharis said, although he did express doubts about whether Mitsotakis will receive unanimous support from his party as he tries to change its direction.

“Whoever cannot see that Potami is in danger of being overrun, mainly by New Democracy and to a lesser extent by SYRIZA, is being willfully ignorant.”

Theoharis suggested that the onus is on Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis to reinvigorate the centrist party. The deputy indicated that even a change of leadership may be needed.

“I think that Mr Theodorakis has to lead they way immediately in the effort to broaden and unite what we call the radical center,” said the former general secretary for public revenues.

Theodorakis and Gennimata have recently spoken in favor of a change to the electoral law. The government is said to be working on a proposal, which may, among others, limit the 50-seat bonus that goes to the winning party to 25. It would need the support of at least 200 out of 300 MPs to be adopted and would not apply to the next elections but the ones after that.

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