New Democracy lawmakers to raise leadership issue

A discussion about the leadership of New Democracy may begin on February 19, when the party’s MPs are due to meet, Kathimerini understands.

The development comes after a number of top New Democracy officials met on Wednesday while party leader and former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was traveling to Brussels for a meeting of the European People’s Party.

Sources close to the prime minister pointed out that he has not shied away from admitting that the party needs to discuss the causes of its election defeat and has already called meetings of New Democracy’s parliamentary group and political committee.

A number of potential leadership contenders, including ex-Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, former Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, ex-Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas, took part in Wednesday’s meeting. Those present agreed, according to sources, that they would meet again next week when there should be a clearer picture about where the SYRIZA-led government’s discussion with the eurozone is leading.

Former New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis did not take part in the private meeting but has held talks with several conservative officials over the past few days. He is not believed to be among those eyeing the party leadership.