Ex premier Karamanlis said to reject SYRIZA offer for presidential candidacy

Former conservative premier Costas Karamanlis has rejected an overture from the SYRIZA-led government for him to be a candidate in another round of presidential elections next month, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked Karamanlis to be the government’s candidate and the latter requested some time to consider the proposal before rejecting it. Karamanlis’ aides were said to be divided about the prospect. In particular, members of the younger generation of Karamanlis supporters were said to have expressed reservations in contrast to older politicians who exhorted the former premier to accept the candidacy offer, Kathimerini understands.

Sources indicated that Karamanlis was concerned about the risks of accepting SYRIZA’s alleged proposal in a period in which the government’s actions could put the country on a collision course with its European partners.

Former premier and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras is said to have expressed his support for European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos being a presidential candidate in a telephone call to the latter.