Stelios Kouloglou, a member of the European Parliament with Syriza since 2015, last month decided to go independent rather than remain in a party that he said “has become a Netflix series.”
Mr. Kasselakis has defended himself against accusations of arrogance, saying from the outset that the public put him where he is. “I’m not a phenomenon — I’m the voice of a society,” he declared after his victory in late September.
On Friday, he pledged in a video statement posted on the social media platform X not to “betray” those who had voted for him to change the party. “I won’t back down,” he said, adding that he would ask Syriza’s central committee to approve a referendum by party members on the dismissal of four party stalwarts who he said had “brutally offended” him and the party. One of the four quit shortly after the video was released.
Mr. Kasselakis did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
He was basically unknown before May, when — still a resident of Miami — he stood as an “at large” candidate on Syriza’s ticket in Greece’s general elections. Although that endeavor was bound to fail, given his low ranking on the ballot, it nonetheless set the scene for the next one, when Syriza’s one-time firebrand leader, Alexis Tsipras, resigned after the party suffered an electoral crush by the conservative New Democracy party of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
In a July opinion essay, Mr. Kasselakis outlined his vision for a Greek version of the United States’ Democratic Party, which he has supported with donations and as a volunteer for Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s 2008 presidential bid. Then, in a frank campaign video, he threw his hat into the ring for the Syriza leadership.