New defections highlight plight of Greek dominant left party - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New defections highlight plight of Greek dominant left party

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A large block of hardline leftwing officials has left Greece's dominant Syriza party, highlighting the challenges Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces ahead of national elections next month.


   A total of 53 members of the 201-strong central committee -- the main party organ -- announced their resignations Wednesday. They all back the Popular Unity party formed by disaffected Syriza officials. The party, led by former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, is currently the third-largest in parliament with 25 former Syriza lawmakers.


   Tsipras resigned last week after seven months in power, seeking a stronger mandate in elections expected Sept. 20.


   His move followed a party rebellion triggered by his acceptance last month -- against Syriza's key policy commitments -- of new austerity measures to secure Greece a vital third international bailout.

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