NEWS

ND seeks to woo voters in western Athens

STAVROS PAPANTONIOU

TAGS: Politics

New Democracy is seeking to bolster its popularity in the populous western department of Athens' second constituency, which was among one of the few where the center-right opposition lagged incumbent SYRIZA in European elections last month, with 25.3 percent against the leftists' 27.5 percent.

The area consists of seven municipalities – Haidari, Petroupoli, Aghia Varvara, Aghii Anargyri-Kamatero, Ilion, Peristeri and Egaleo – which include some of Athens' poorest districts, spurring concerns in ND ranks that the party appears cut off from the country's working-class voters.

In a bid to reverse this sentiment, western Athens is one of three constituencies in which party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be running in next month's general elections. Other ND candidates include lawmakers Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Gerasimos Giakoumatos, journalists Antonis Panoutsos and Yiannis Loverdos and two former mayors.

ND hopes to secure three seats in this constituency and possibly even five, depending on how many parties make it into the 300-seat House.

SYRIZA, however, is also banking on the advantage it has over the main opposition in western Athens, nominating party heavyweights such as Yiannis Dragasakis, Dimitris Vitsas, Panagiotis Kouroublis and Nikos Toskas.

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