New Democracy gains two MPs as ex-deputies respond to Samaras call for unity

New Democracy increased the number of its MPs to 127 on Monday after ex-Tourism Minister Costas Markopoulos and former conservative lawmaker Theodoros Soldatos announced they were returning to the party.

In his closing speech at the conservative party’s congress on Sunday, Samaras called for Greece’s center right to rally around New Democracy.

Markopoulos quit New Democracy early last year to join the Independent Greeks but recently distanced himself from the right-wing party led by Panos Kammenos in December.

“I have decided to respond to the prime minister’s invitation,” he said on Monday afternoon.

Soldatos was ousted from the party in November after voting against party of the 2013 budget in Parliament.

New Democracy said that there had been positive response to Samaras’s call at grassroots level as well. The party claimed that hundreds of voters had called its national and regional offices to offer their support.

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