New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis is expected to confirm on Thursday that he will run in the party’s leadership contest but he has to overcome a disagreement with other candidates over when the ballot should be held.
Meimarakis, who only stepped in as party president in June, has been coy about whether he will run but is due to announced his candidacy today. He is expected to collect the 50 signatures of political committee members required without any problems.
The only other candidates to reach this target so far are former administrative reform minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas.
Ex-health minister Adonis Georgiadis, who also announced his intention to run this week, is believed to be struggling to garner the necessary support within the party. A number of other conservatives have explored the option of running but have not gone any further than that.
Even though Meimarakis had not announced his candidacy by yesterday, a disagreement was brewing between his camp and those close to the two other candidates. Meimarakis and his advisers would like the ballot to take place as quickly as possible. They are proposing October 18 as the date for the vote.
Sources close to Mitsotakis said that the ex-minister does not want the contest to be a “beauty pageant” and would like the candidates to have enough time to explain their positions to New Democracy members. They suggested that the ballot should be held on November 15. Tzitzikostas also favors a longer campaign.