Meimarakis may stay as ND leader for next months


There is growing support within New Democracy for caretaker leader Evangelos Meimarakis to stay on in his role for at least a few more months.

Kathimerini understands that a number of MPs and party members are gathering signatures to encourage the former parliamentary speaker to remain in his position for the time being, even until the party’s regular congress in June next year.

Those who believe that New Democracy would be best served by Meimarakis remaining as leader are expected to issue a common statement before he launches proceedings for a permanent party president to be elected.

Meimarakis took over at the conservative party in the hours after the July 5 referendum. New Democracy had supported the “yes” vote, which gathered less than 40 percent, prompting party leader Antonis Samaras to stand down.

His successor has drawn plaudits for his more homely style and managing to defend the party’s position without stoking polarization. Meimarakis was applauded by many commentators for shaking Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s hand following his speech in Parliament on Saturday, when New Democracy MPs joined SYRIZA lawmakers in authorizing the premier to reach an agreement with Greece’s lenders.

Meimarakis has made it clear that New Democracy will support Tsipras over any bailout-related legislation.