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New Democracy in search of a Tsipras

22 September 2015 / 19:09:40  GRReporter
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By the end of October, New Democracy is likely to elect its new leader. The current one, Evangelos Meimarakis, met with New Democracy's political committee secretary on Monday evening. During the meeting, he confirmed his desire to proceed with the election of a new president.

Meimarakis would rather not participate in the election because of his disagreement in principle with the process allowing everyone to vote, even without being a New Democracy voter. But he still left a loophole, adding: "We will see who the candidates are and how the in-house dialogue is going to turn out." Party officials close to Meimarakis stressed that the question of his participation in the election is still open.

Meimarakis said he might run if no other candidates turn out. He recalled the reactions after his interview for ERT national television where he said it was necessary to amend the process for electing a party leader. But he also said that currently there is no way to change the statute. He argued that the party's Central Election Committee is the body addressing election-related issues. Meimarakis also made it clear that as a sitting president he is not entitled to convene the party bodies and the whole conversation about New Democracy's electoral defeat will be held in the course of electing a new leader.

"Proponents of the centre-right have always followed the line of understanding and moderation; they vote according to the national interest," said Meimarakis. His decision to move faster on the president-electing process does not only reflect the desire to prevent the isolation trend of the party. His supporters believe he might also use the momentum he gained during the election campaign.

The official start of the election procedure is expected in the middle of this week.

It remains to be seen which of the senior party members will jump in the fray. For the moment, most of them are keeping a low profile. Dora Bakoyannis claims she cannot question Meimarakis' leadership. In turn, Nikos Dendias has taken no action so far.

In contrast, Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis were quick to make their presence felt. They confirmed they were going to act as a "right-wing platform" against Meimarakis. The two MPs, supported by other colleagues like Anna Asimakopoulou, are talking about the aimless stratagems, which have led to the final result of "legalizing" Tsipras. They, along with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, were among those who even back in the summer emphasized the need to quickly resolve outstanding party issues such as the leadership. Mitsotakis obviously does not identify with the "right-wing platform". But all eyes are on the dynamics among the three, with their collaboration clearly visible before the last elections.

New Democracy has also begun the search for an "anti-Tsipras' guy, i. e. someone from the younger generation, such as Olga Kefaloyani or Vassilis Kikilias. Someone capable of standing up to the current prime minister by restoring the party's communication with women and young people. The two governors, Kostas Bakoyannis and Apostolos Dzidzikostas, belong to this ilk.

Voridis: an absolutely correct decision

In an interview for Mega TV, Makis Voridis described the decision to launch the process for electing a new party president as perfectly right. However, he failed to say whether he would throw his hat in the ring. Voridis pointed out that the issue had been pending ever since Antonis Samaras's resignation. Asked whether he would run, he said, "We'll see, it is not something I'd like to commit to at the moment."

Voridis described Meimarakis as "one of the brightest lights in the party'', who ''has played a very important role, waged a tough battle during the elections and has a lot more to give." He added that whether Meimarakis will run or not is his own business.

Tags: New Democracy leader procedure of electing president Evangelos Meimarakis Makis Voridis
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