The battle for succession in New Democracy begins


A lot will depend on whether outgoing provisional president Evangelos Meimarakis will run for the party leadership

On Tuesday New Democracy’s press office issued a statement announcing that procedures for the election of a new party President would be launched immediately, in order to conclude the process as soon as possible. The elections are likely to take place on the 25th of October or 1st of November.

Following the announcement a number of New Democracy officers have expressed their desire to run for party president, but so far, only Kyriakos Mitsotakis has formally announced his candidacy. A lot will depend on whether the outgoing, provisional president Evangelos Meimarakis decides to run himself, as well as the format of the election process.

Veteran ND MP Dora Bakoyanni has long been considered a potential successor, however To Vima has been told that should Mr. Meimarakis be candidate in the election she intends to support “without a second thought”. Should Mr. Meimarakis not run though, it is possible that she will run against her brother, Mr. Mitsotakis.

Former Minister Nikos Dendias has previously expressed his desire for a leadership change and will be backed by Karamanlis supporters, should he formally announce his candidacy. As with Mr. Mitsotakis though, he is inclined to not participate in the election if Mr. Meimarakis runs. Similarly, Olga Kefalogianni, Manolis Kefalogiannis and Petros Tatoulis are waiting to see Mr. Meimarakis’ plans.

It is not yet known if Makis Voridis, who represents a more conservative and right-wing section within New Democracy, will run for the party leadership. Mr. Voridis has expressed his intention to lead the party, however should he decide against it, he is believed to back Mr. Mitsotakis, despite their differences on many fronts.

A lot will also depend on the stance of former party leaders and prime ministers, Antonis Samaras andKostas Karamanlis. Both former presidents are reportedly against the initiation of party elections at present, give that the government has yet to make its policy statement, while a number of critical bills must be passed through Parliament and the first review is pending.

For other party members, such as Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Kostas Hatzidakis these elections are hugely important, since the main issue is not replacing the party leader, but rather determining the party’s profile and outlook.