The Guardian 26 September, 2007
Significant communist gains
The Communist Party of Greece scored a significant increase of its vote in the Greek parliamentary elections held on Sunday, September 16. The Party’s vote increased from 5.9%, in the 2004 elections to 8.2% — an increase of 38%. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was the only party that registered an increase of votes and now has 22 members of Parliament from the 12 seats it held previously.
The ruling conservative party of New Democracy saw its vote dropped from 45.4% to 41.8% and elected 152 deputies, from the total of 300, thus achieving a very slim majority. In the previous parliament New Democracy had 165 deputies. The social-democratic PASOK, even though in opposition, scored poorly and lost 2.5 percentage points of its previous vote. It registered 38.1% and elected 102 deputies down from 117 it held previously.
The Coalition of Radical Left, which had an electoral alliance with the small party Democratic Social Movement, scored 5% of the votes, which is almost the sum total of the percentages won by the two parties in the previous elections. It elected 14 deputies.
These elections also saw the entry into parliament of the extreme right wing party of Popular Orthodox Rally, which managed to score 3.8% of the vote and elect 10 deputies.
An important aspect of these elections was the fact that the combined vote of the two major parties of the capitalist establishment, which alternate in government, fell below 80% for the first time in the last 20 years, weakening to a certain degree, the two party system and strengthening the real opposition to the anti people policies pursued by both parties, that of the Communist Party.
A statement issued by the Central Committee of the KKE pointed out that "the electoral increase of the KKE is the biggest recorded since 1993. Combined with the losses suffered by New Democracy and PASOK, it constitutes a contribution to the great cause for the rise of the labour and the peoples movements in the fight against the centre-right and centre-left scenarios.
"The increase of the electoral strength of the KKE", continues the statement, "contains significant dynamics, by achieving high percentages among the working people and young people, specifically among those working in the private sector, the unemployed, the self employed and the poor farmers in rural areas".
The statement of the KKE calls upon all communists to give all their efforts and in co-operation with the radical forces of society, which are strengthened, to organise the people’s struggles "to repulse the anti-people measures that are going to be pushed forward by New Democracy".
The statement calls upon the working class, the youth and the broader peoples masses to be in the forefront of the struggles for the defence of people’s rights and "against monopolies and imperialist policies with the perspective of people’s power and economy".
Message of congratulations
In a message of congratulations to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece Peter Symon, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia, said:
It is with great pleasure that we have received news of the successes of the CPG in last Sunday’s general elections. The increased vote won by Party candidates, particularly among the young people and the working class, is the promise that the standing of the CPG will further increase in the future. We recognise that this is a consequence of the many years of hard, consistent struggle during which your Party has not wavered from its militant but sophisticated line in the many struggles in which the Party is involved.
The decline in the votes going to the two major Parties is also significant in that it shows a weakening of the two-Party system so beloved by the bourgeoisie in Greece and in a number of other countries such as Australia. The continued support for these two arms of bourgeois power have to be overcome by the struggles of your Party, the trade unions and the mass movements as well as the work of your and other progressive deputies in Parliament.
In this year in which we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the advances made by your Party and the world-wide struggles of the workers, farmers, intellectuals, communists and progressives, all indicate that the revolutionary movement for social change in the 21st century is going to grow stronger and stronger in the years ahead.
With warmest communist greetings.
Communist Party of Australia