The first great wager regarding the centre-left Movement for Change (KINAL) party’s leadership election by popular vote, with members and friends of the party participating, was won.

There was massive popular participation in the first round of the election.

The number of people who turned out demonstrated that among voters in the centre and centre-left of the political spectrum there is a strong desire for a progressive party that can play a leading role on the country’s political stage.

The turnout in yesterday’s vote, however, does not concern only this democratic-progressive party. It concerns the entire political system.

Voters yesterday did not simply send a signal to the next leader of KINAL. They sent a signal in all directions regarding the functioning of democracy.

They made it clear that true power is in the hands of voters, who have the first and last word concerning contemporary democracy, and that they are prepared to exercise that right.

A bipolar scheme with a third party attached to one of the two biggest ones does not lead to a fertile political debate in the interest of the country’s future.

The new president of KINAL will be confronted with a critical but difficult task. With the power given to him by the thousands of voters of the party’s base who will have elected him, he must make KINAL a critical force in the next general elections, whenever they may be held.

That is what those who participated in the leadership election seek.

It remains to be seen if the victor in the 12 December second round of voting has the will and ability to make it happen.

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