Kasidiaris will try to bypass election ban by running as an independent

Jailed former Golden Dawn deputy leader, Ilias Kasidiaris, announced on Thursday he would attempt to run as an independent candidate in the second Greek general elections that will likely take place on June 25.

The move is aimed at bypassing a ban imposed on Kasidiaris and his far-right National Party-Greeks by the Supreme Court before the elections on May 21 citing legal amendments that disqualify parties led by politicians convicted of serious offenses.

On Thursday he said he will run in Athens A, a parliamentary constituency in Attica that essentially corresponds to the Municipality of Athens, “with the coalition of Independent Candidates under the name Ellines (Greeks).”

“A coalition of independent candidates is not a party as it does not have a country-wide ticket and is not entitled to state funding, therefore not limited by the unconstitutional amendments passed by [Kyriakos] Mitsotakis,” he said on his Twitter account.

Mitsotakis called on May 22 for a new election, a day after his conservative party posted a resounding victory but fell short of an outright majority.

Kasidiaris, 42, founded the National Party-Greeks after receiving a 13-year prison sentence in 2020. He was convicted as a leading member of an extreme right party, Golden Dawn, which was blamed for multiple attacks against migrants and left-wing political activists.

The party was founded as a neo-Nazi group in the 1980s but later claimed to represent a broader nationalist ideology.