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Internal party war in New Democracy

24 November 2015 / 14:11:50  GRReporter
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The internal party crisis in the New Democracy, which has been ripe for a long time is already turning into an open war following the unprecedented failure of the election procedure on Sunday, which inflicted a heavy blow on the political nature of the party. Sunday’s election fiasco served as a ‘safety valve’ unleashing a wave of reactions and the four candidates for the leader of the centre-right party, namely Evangelos Meimarakis, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Adonis Georgiadis started a real "war" through statements, seeking to make the most of developments. Following the direct attack by Evangelos Meimarakis, even former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras found himself in the limelight, who replied with a firm tone, whereas many lawmakers are now fixing their eyes on the other former Prime Minister of New Democracy Konstantinos Karamanlis. He in turn is avoiding any comments, recommending only a rapid completion of the election procedures so that the party emerges from the crisis.

Behind the scenes, a debate is openly taking place about the possibility of the party splitting into a more popular right formation and a more moderate centrist one, seeking only the appropriate occasion. While the country is facing unprecedented political, economic and national challenges, New Democracy is like a real arena, hoping that the forthcoming elections, which will probably take place on 13 December, will serve to calm the tension. This is not yet certain, in view of the meeting that the parliamentary group of the party will hold at 7:00 pm today, and in difficult conditions at that. Officially, the meeting will focus on the budget but a still pending issue is to formalize Evangelos Meimarakis’ decision to withdraw from the party leadership. At the same time, he wants Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Adonis Georgiadis to resign as parliamentary representatives (they have already done so), and Apostolos Tzitzikostas to withdraw from the governor post (he is refusing to do so since he has been elected to it). The issue of Evangelos Meimarakis’ staying or withdrawing will be resolved today, and he himself has proposed current secretary of the parliamentary group Yiannis Plakiotakis for caretaker party chairman, who however must first be appointed deputy chairman. Otherwise, based on the party statutes, the secretary of the party should become its chairman.

Evangelos Meimarakis became the subject of a lot of attacks on the part of the other candidates for the leadership of New Democracy because of the failed election procedure. Meimarakis in turn described as unfair the information that leaked in the press, namely that according to Antonis Samaras he could not remain a caretaker party chairman. As a result of all this, yesterday Evangelos Meimarakis responded harshly to all, including Antonis Samaras, indirectly associating him with the nomination of Apostolos Tzitzikostas. Meimarakis said that the former Prime Minister knew the company Infosolutions (the company that undertook to carry out the elections for New Democracy leader) and guaranteed for it, his narrow collaborator Dimitris Ptochos gave tasks to it at Maximou residence and Makis Voridis, one of the initiators of Tzitzikostas’ nomination along with Takis Baltakos who was in charge of organizational matters, was its legal advisor.

"Antonis Samaras has nothing to do with all this. Those who are trying to involve him in games, nonsense and lies are wrong. What is their purpose?" replied the collaborators of Antonis Samaras, recalling that that company had "cooperated with New Democracy since the time when Meimarakis was secretary." "At this point the unity of the party is the most important as well as the smooth conduct of the party elections. Let us not forget that we have another opponent," Samaras’ collaborators conclude. A detailed statement was subsequently published on his behalf, in which he responds to Meimarakis’ accusations point by point. A denial by Makis Voridis followed, who yesterday raised the issue of the responsibility of Evangelos Meimarakis. "Meimarakis’ views have never coincided with Voridis’ perceptions, behaviour and morality," was the new response by Evangelos Meimarakis, who once again invited Apostolos Tzitzikostas to resign "especially as he is claiming that he will win the elections."

Tags: New DemocracyElectionsChairmanCandidatesInternal party crisis
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