On November 14th the second round of the regional and local elections took place. The anger of the Greek workers over the measures of the social democratic PASOK government, which are imposed with the support of the EU and IMF, was made very clear.
We should bear in mind that in the 1st round of the elections the KKE, which was represented by the lists of "People’s Rally", was the only party which increased its percentage (+3.3 % compared to the parliamentary elections of 2009), reaching 11% and receiving almost 600,000 votes (592,977), about 80,000 more than in last year’s parliamentary elections. This result is particularly important for us, when we take into account the increase in abstention (turnout was 61%).
The KKE had 41 regional councilors elected and over 500 municipal councilors.
In the second round the KKE was represented in only 2 municipalities, Petroupolis (a working class area of Athens ) and Ikaria . In the rest of the municipalities, where the forces of the 2 big bourgeois parties (PASOK-ND), the various "independents" and the representatives of parties which support the EU, the KKE called on the people to cast white or spoiled ballots.
The results show that in the 2nd round participation was even lower than in the first round (about 45%) while there was also increase in spoiled and white ballots.
In the municipality of Petroupolis , the candidate of the KKE received 21.6% and in the second round won with 55%.
In the municipality of Ikaria , where the KKE traditionally has good results (in last year’s parliamentary elections it received 35% of the vote), the representative of the KKE received in the 1st round 43.9%. Nevertheless his opponent, who was supported by all the country’s other political forces (social democratic PASOK), conservative ND, opportunist SYN/SYRIZA, nationalist LAOS ), was victorious. The final vote which the communist candidate received was 48%.
The KKE will continue the struggle immediately after the end of the election fight without taking any time to rest. It is organizing massive demonstrations on Monday the 15 of November, in Athens , Thessalonica and other cities, on the occasion of the visit to Greece of the representatives of the troika (EU, IMF, European Central Bank).
The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, made the following statement late on Sunday night, concerning the results of the 2nd round:
"The second round of the local elections for the local government bodies made the message sent in the first round of the elections even stronger, which expressed chiefly the anger of the people concerning the policies of the government and also the policies of ND.
"And when we talk about anger and discontent we are not talking about the manner in which they handle and manage governmental power, but that it reflects the discontent of the people concerning the worsening of its position, the loss of whatever gains had remained in recent years due to the memorandum and its utilization as a pretext.
"The discussion concerning abstention is something that concerns us as well. As you know we are against abstention, we are in favour of active participation and we learn with a sense of satisfaction that a large section of those who voted for People’s Rally on the first Sunday went and spoiled their ballot papers in the second round.
"The question is this: Those who shed tears over the abstention are hypocrites. Who demobilized the people? Who mocked the struggles, organized participation, in popular assemblies in the neighbourhoods and workplaces? Who scoffed at the strikes? Of course, when a large part of the people is found outside of the organized workers’ and people’s trade union activity, it is natural that at election time when they are discontented they choose to stay at home. Who has fostered the notion amongst the people that there is nothing beyond the one-way street of the EU and the monopolies?
"We are of the opinion that the current of anger and discontent will get stronger. We can see positive processes in the consciousness of the people despite the fact that this process is incomplete. We are ready to meet with those who voted against ND and PASOK, with those who abstained for political reasons despite the fact that we do not agree with this form of protest. We are ready to meet with them in order to build an all-people’s current of organization and struggle above all in the workplaces and also in the neighbourhoods.
"If you like, the demonstration which we are organizing tomorrow is not an end in itself but a starting point. The systematic counterattack must be organized against the new harsh measures which are on the way and will be implacable, difficult for the human mind to fully comprehend. We are, nevertheless, in a position to understand where things are going, and now there exist the possibilities and they must be utilized not through abstention, but through active participation so that we can prevent some of the measures and if you like for there to be some gains. There is a way out.
"Nothing has ever been inevitable in the history of this country, or in the history of the world for that matter.
"The crisis will deepen, in Greece and in the EU. The signs are clear. And so the people through struggles over urgent issues like unemployment and social security must schedule a radical overthrow of the balance of forces above all in the trade union movement. In the bodies where the trade union labour aristocracy is dominant, compromised people, who wish to assimilate the people and not liberate it.
"There is no other solution, other than the change in the balance of forces from below, so that it is changed at the top. An element of the crisis which will intensify is the discussions, concerning scenarios of cooperation, deliberations, conferences etc. We have made our position clear: no consent with any party which supports the policies of the EU, the memorandum, and of the monopolies. No consent with parties and forces which submit in the name of realism and try to dampen down and obstruct radicalism.
"We are open to common action with the criterion that this common action must be based on the interests of the working class, the small businessmen, of the small and poor farmers. Above all we need a clearly defined social alliance and it is there that a change in the balance of forces will be created.
"The discussion concerning these various scenarios is not accidental. We may well see some developments. Today there are some parties and politicians who are ready to legitimize the policies of the government or to help ND recover. We want to form a people’s social front form below. This is the path which guarantees everything.
"Only when the people become the protagonist, will we discern a real hope for a way out. Everything else they talk about aims to keep the people in their houses and to wait on their sofas for political parties (washed-up political parties interms of their stance in relation to the people), to solve the problems or for the appearance of "new" faces on the political scene. The old and the new should exist only in the confrontation between the dominant political power and the people."