SYRIZA confirmed on Tuesday, following some two weeks of deliberations, that Thrace-based Roma activist Sabiha Suleiman will not stand as a candidate with the leftist party in the May 25 European Parliament elections.
SYRIZA has opted for Oumit Mestan Osman, a member of the region’s Muslim minority, instead.
SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis described Osman as a “more suitable” candidate and acknowledged that SYRIZA had not done enough research before nominating Suleiman, only for the party’s prefectural committee in Xanthi to veto her candidacy.
Suleiman is unpopular with some of the Muslim minority because she has attempted to separate the Roma Muslims from the rest.
“It seems they wanted a candidate of Turkish conscience,” Suleiman told Skai Radio in reference to the tendency for some members of the Muslim minority to call themselves “Turkish.”
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According to the CIA World Factbook, Greece is 1.3% Muslim.