Coalition of the Radical Left

From Phantis
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Coalition of the Radical Left (Greek Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής Αριστεράς, Synaspismos tis Rizospastikis Aristeras, abbreviated SYRIZA) is a political party which was originally a coalition of left political parties in Greece. Its leader is Alexis Tsipras, who is was once the president of the Synaspismos[1], the largest of the parties that formed the original coalition.

History

Formation

Although, SYRIZA is typically regarded to have been launched before the legislative election of 2004, the process that ended up in its formation can be traced back to the The Space of Left Dialogue and Common Action (Greek: Χώρος Διαλόγου για την Ενότητα και Κοινή Δράση της Αριστεράς) in 2001.[2] The "Space" was comprised of various organizations of the Greek Left that, despite different ideological and historical backgrounds, shared common political action in several important issues that had risen in Greece at the end of the 1990's, such as the Kosovo War, privatizations, social rights, etc.

The "Space" provided the common ground from which the participating parties could work together on issues such as:

  • Neoliberal reform of the pension and social security systems
  • Opposition to new anti-terrorist laws
  • The preparation of the Greek participation at the 2001 international demonstration in Genoa.[3]

Even though the "Space" was not a political organization, but rather an effort to bring together the parties and organizations that attended, it gave birth to some electoral alliances for the local election of 2002,[4] the most successful being the one led by Manolis Glezos for the super-prefecture of Athens-Piraeus. The "Space" also provided the common ground from which several of the member parties and organizations launched the Greek Social Forum[5], part of the larger European Social Forum.

2004 general election

The defining moment for the birth of SYRIZA came with the legislative election of 2004. Most of the participants of the "Space", sought to develop a common platform that could lead to an electoral alliance.[6] This lead to the eventual formation of the Coalition of the Radical Left, in January 2004.[7]

The parties that originally formed the Coalition of the Radical Left in January 2004 were:

Although the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE) had participated in the "Space", it decided not to take part in the Coalition.[8]

In the election, the Coalition gathered 241,539 votes (3.3% of the total) and elected six members to parliament. All six were members of Synaspismos, the largest of the coalition parties. This lead to much tension within the Coalition.

Crisis and revitalization

After the 2004 election, the smaller parties accused Synaspismos of not honoring an agreement, to have one of its members of parliament resign so that Yiannis Banias of AKOA would take his seat.[9] Tension built up and resulted in the split of the Internationalist Workers Left and the formation of Kokkino that chose to remain within the Coalition.

Three months after the legislative election, Synaspismos chose to run independently from the rest of the Coalition for the 2004 elections for the European Parliament and most of the smaller parties of the Coalition supported the Women for Another Europe (Greek: Γυναίκες για μια άλλη Ευρώπη) feminist ballot.[10].

The crisis ended in December 2004 with the 4th convention of Synaspismos, when the large majority within the party voted for the revitalization of the Coalition.[11] This change of attitude was further intensified with the election of Alekos Alavanos, a staunch supporter of the Coalition,[12] as president of Synaspismos, after its former leader, Nikos Konstantopoulos stepped down.

The Coalition solidified further with the successful organization of the 4th European Social Forum in May 2006 in Athens, as well as with a number of largely successful coalition tickets, such as in Athens and Piraeus, for the 2006 local election. The ticket for the municipality of Athens was led by the 30-year old Alexis Tsipras, proposed by party leader, Alekos Alavanos, who declared Synaspismos's "opening to the new generation".

2007 general election

The Coalition of the Radical Left participated in the 2007 Greek legislative election, that took place on September 16, 2007.

SYRIZA amassed 5% of the popular vote and won 14 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.

The Coalition has also expanded from its original composition in 2004. On June 20 2007, the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE) announced its participation into the Coalition.[13] On August 21 the environmentalist Ecological Intervention (Greek: Οικολογική Παρέμβαση), also joined,[14] and on August 22 2007, the Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI), also announced its own participation to the Coalition.[15]

On September 2 The Areios Pagos refused to include the title of DIKKI in the electoral alliance of SYRIZA claiming that the internal procedures followed by DIKKI were flawed. This was criticised furiously by SYRIZA and DIKKI as inappropriate interference in party political activity on behalf of the courts.[16]

May 2012 general election

The Coalition of the Radical Left participated in the May 2012 Greek legislative election, that took place on May 6, 2012.

SYRIZA shocked the political world by amassing 16.7% of the popular vote and winning 52 seats in the Hellenic Parliament. They finished in second place just behind New Democracy and higher than PASOK.

July 2013 formation of a unitary party

In July of 2013, a congress of the coalition's members decided to re-form SYRIZA as a single party.

January 2015 general election

On January 25, 2015, SYRIZA won the 2015 Greek legislative election, winning 36.34% of the popular vote and gaining 149 seats in Parliament.

Former participating parties

Before unification, the Coalition was comprised of the following parties (in alphabetical order):[17]

Electoral results

Results since 2004
(year links to election page)
Year Type of Election Votes % Mandates
2004
Parliament
241,539 3.3% 6
2007 Parliament 5.0% 14
2012 Parliament 16.8% 52
2015 Parliament 36.3% 149

References

  1. The transliterated name "Synaspismos" is used throughout the article to refer to the Coalition of the Left, of Movements and Ecology in order to avoid confusion with the Coalition of the Radical Left itself.
  2. Press conference of the "Space", May 2001
  3. Overcoming division, article by Georges Mitralias, June 2001
  4. A catalogue of such electoral alliances
  5. Greek Social Forum
  6. Synaspismos press release, 17 December 2003
  7. 15/01/2004 article from the Greek language edition of the BBC
  8. KOE press release, February 2004
  9. 28/09/2004 article by the newspaper Epohi
  10. 23/05/2004 article by the newspaper Epohi
  11. Chapter 9 of the Political Decisions of the the 4th convention of Synaspismos
  12. Alavanos' main convention speech at the convention
  13. http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=811154&lngDtrID=244
  14. Ecological Intervention press release
  15. DIKKI press release
  16. 2/9/2007 DIKKI press release
  17. List of participants from the Coalition's website
  1. ^ The transliterated name "Synaspismos" is used throughout the article to refer to the Coalition of the Left, of Movements and Ecology in order to avoid confusion with the Coalition of the Radical Left itself.
  2. ^ Press conference of the "Space", May 2001
  3. ^ Overcoming division, article by Georges Mitralias, June 2001
  4. ^ A catalogue of such electoral alliances
  5. ^ Greek Social Forum
  6. ^ Synaspismos press release, 17 December 2003
  7. ^ 15/01/2004 article from the Greek language edition of the BBC
  8. ^ KOE press release, February 2004
  9. ^ 28/09/2004 article by the newspaper Epohi
  10. ^ 23/05/2004 article by the newspaper Epohi
  11. ^ Chapter 9 of the Political Decisions of the the 4th convention of Synaspismos
  12. ^ Alavanos' main convention speech at the convention
  13. ^ See the relevant Wikipedia entry
  14. ^ Full text of the Declaration
  15. ^ http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=811154&lngDtrID=244
  16. ^ Ecological Intervention press release
  17. ^ DIKKI press release
  18. ^ 2/9/2007 DIKKI press release
  19. ^ List of participants from the Coalition's website

External links


A portion of content for this article is credited to Wikipedia. Content under GNU Free Documentation License(GFDL)