New Democracy has expelled Petros Doukas, mayor of Sparta and a former deputy foreign and finance minister, following his claim that the party won the 2007 elections by handing out money to the victims of the deadly wildfires that devastated the region of Ilia earlier that summer.
“Recent statements by Petros Doukas, apart from being historically untrue, have nothing to do with the principles and values of New Democracy,” a New Democracy statement said.
“As a result, he was notified of the relevant dismissal decision by a member of the party.”
Doukas served as deputy foreign minister from 2007 to 2009 and deputy finance minister from 2004 to 2007.
At a meeting in Sparta on February 2 to discuss paying compensation to farmers who lost crops due to the recent frost, Doukas bragged that “this is how we won the elections in 2007.”
“We went down [there] with bags and compensated all those who had … [been affected by the fires],” he is heard saying in the video of the meeting, which was broadcast live on Facebook.
“We literally turned the game around, we where we trailing 15% [in the polls], we would have been destroyed, we went there and with two moves we turned the whole game around,” Doukas continues.
His expulsion is linked to the resignation of Rural Development and Food Minister Spilios Livanos earlier on Monday. In the video footage of Doukas’ remarks, Livanos appears to agree with the mayor.
Doukas served as an MP until 2009, when he was not included on the New Democracy ballot due to his alleged role in the Vatopedi Monastery land-swap scandal.