New candidates, parties emerge for May elections

The buildup to local and European Parliament elections in May took another interesting turn on Wednesday after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras made a surprise choice with New Democracy’s candidate for the Attica governorship, and journalist and TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis (photo) announced that he would be launching a new party.

New Democracy announced on Wednesday that MEP Giorgos Koumoutsakos would be representing the party in Attica. He will be up against Rena Dourou of SYRIZA and most probably the incumbent, Yiannis Sgouros, who has yet to confirm his intention to run for reelection.

Koumoutsakos served as Foreign Ministry spokesman between 2004 and 2009. Since then, he has been an MEP. His candidacy came as somewhat of a surprise to many within ND, who had expected someone with experience in national or local politics to be chosen for the contest.

Shortly after Koumoutsakos was nominated, Theodorakis, the presenter of the current affairs documentary program “Protagonistes” (Protagonists) on Mega TV, released a statement saying that he would launch his own party to compete in the European elections.

Theodorakis justified his decision by saying that people he met while filming his shows often expressed disappointment with Greece’s political personnel. He said his party would be pro-European but did not make it clear in which part of the political spectrum it would be located. He did, however, insist that nobody who has served in office would be allowed to take part.

He said his party, which will be called To Potami (The River), would consist of “students, intellectuals, economists, laborers, artists, unemployed, traders, doctors and architects.” “A team that has intelligence and strength, the strength of logic and justice,” he added.

He is to announce the names of the party’s candidates on Tuesday. Theodorakis said he would not be standing for election.

PASOK, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday that it would not be joining forces with the recently-formed center-left movement known as the 58. The party, however, will run on a joint ticket with two smaller groups led by ex-Health Minister Andreas Loverdos and former government spokesman Ilias Mosialos.