ATHENS – Having gone from dominant to near-defunct, the PASOK Socialists will hold a Congress ahead of June 14 elections to replace outgoing leader Evangelos Venizelos.
PASOK won the general elections in 2009 behind George Papandreou with almost 44 percent of the vote but fell this year to last-place with about 4 percent after having continued to back austerity measures demanded by international lenders in return for bailouts.
Venizelos oversaw its final demise into irrelevancy, having last served as Deputy Prime Minister for then-Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, elevated in return for backing worker firings.
It cost him his place as the party’s leaders when he said he wouldn’t seek to keep the position with PASOK in almost complete collapse and broke despite receiving scores of millions of euros from taxpayer money and bank loans it got without collateral and didn’t repay, without having to account for how the money was spent.
The three-day meeting beginning June 5 will talk about the state of the party and begin considering candidates for leadership. Candidates so far are Fofi Gennimata, Odysseas Konstantinopoulos, and former party outcast Andreas Loverdos who came back into the fold to be named a minister in the last government.
The Congress opens amid allegations from Gennimata aides that the party’s General Secretary Nikos Androulakis has tampered with the selection of participants, adding to the further chaos.