With speculation mounting over potential contenders in New Democracy’s leadership race, former minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was until late Friday the only conservative official to have come forward before the deadline to submit candidacies expires next Friday.
Mitsotakis, who belongs to the party’s marginalized liberal faction, has already launched his campaign and is expected to soon unveil plans for a ND revamp.
Several senior officials were still undecided Friday and appeared to be basing their decision on what interim leader Evangelos Meimarakis does next.
Despite failing to avert a defeat for ND in Sunday’s vote, Meimarakis has been widely credited with rallying together a fragmented party following former prime minister Antonis Samaras’s exit.
Apart from Meimarakis, who enjoys the backing of officials close to former PM Costas Karamanlis, other candidates who may stand in the vote later this year include former ministers Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis from the party’s right wing, as well as ex-ministers Nikos Dendias, Olga Kefaloyianni, Vassilis Kikilias, Manolis Kefaloyiannis, Maroussi Mayor Giorgos Patoulis and Peloponnese Regional Governor Petros Tatoulis.
Contenders are divided over whether the new chairman should be elected by party apparatchiks or by members and supporters of the party, in line with the ND charter.