Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras renewed his mandate as SYRIZA leader after an inner-party ballot on Sunday and expressed confidence that his party will win the next national election.
It was the first time the leader of SYRIZA was directly elected by party members. The 47-year-old politician, who was the only candidate, won 99 percent of the vote.
Organizers said around 110,000 new members took part in the polls, increasing the total figure to 172,000.
Tsipras hailed the turnout in the procedure as a resounding endorsement of the party’s positions.
“The SYRIZA of 172,000 members will certainly win the most votes in the next elections, no matter when [Prime Minister Kyriakos] Mitsotakis sets up the ballot,” he said.
Tsipras calls for a progressive government in Greece
Asked about the aims of the election process, SYRIZA’s leader noted that a “party that governed and got up to 2.5 million votes cannot have just 25,000 members…a personal and collective goal is for the party SYRIZA to correspond with the social SYRIZA.”
The aim was to send a clear message for political change as the first step toward victory in the general elections, he said.
“In order for political change to come about and a progressive government to arise,” said Tsipras, “SYRIZA must come first and with some difference. The crucial elections will be with simple proportional representation. Second elections may not be needed.”
“We believe that the country can be led by coalition governments with progressive agreements from the first Sunday. The percentages will allow a government from the first Sunday and the maturity of the political forces will be judged,” he said.
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose conservative party appears to be enjoying a steady lead in opinion polls, has repeatedly ruled out a snap vote.
Late on Sunday, New Democracy took a swipe at the opposition leader for being the sole candidate in the race.
“Standing against all…odds, Mr. Tsipras beat Mr. Tsipras to become SYRIZA president,” New Democracy said in a statement.