Former health minister Adonis Georgiadis joined the race for the leadership of New Democracy on Saturday after the party’s electoral commission decided to accept his bid to be a candidate despite the fact that he submitted it after the deadline.
The committee had rejected Georgiadis’s bid to join the contest on Friday afternoon, after the ex-minister ran into the party’s offices to submit it a few minutes after the 6 p.m. deadline.
The decision prompted a chorus of protest, not least from the other candidates in the race, who said it was unfair Georgiadis should be excluded after having gathered the minimum 50 signatures of support from the party’s political committee.
Finally, on Saturday morning, the committee decided to accept Georgiadis’s bid after all. Georgiadis now joins three challengers: former administrative reform minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas and interim party leader Evangelos Meimarakis.
As the leadership contest looms, Meimarakis told MPs on Satruday that they must avoid “naval gazing” and focus on “supporting society.”
In a reference to upcoming parliamentary votes on austerity measures pledged by the SYRIZA-led coalition to creditors, Meimarakis said ND’s support should not be taken for granted.
ND will clash “with every policy that hits farmers and small businesses, that imposes the average and protects all the ills of old-style party politics,” he said.