Just over a week before New Democracy's leadership elections, a prominent conservative MP on Friday expressed his support for one of the candidates: Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas.
The expression of support by ND MP Makis Voridis prompted an angry response by one of the other three candidates in the race, former minister Adonis Georgiadis, who used to be an MP of the rightwing party LAOS with Voridis.
"The country needs to tackle the hegemony of the Left, it needs a strong and dynamic opposition, faced with a government that is disastrous on a daily basis," Voridis said, adding that ND must become a party "with open doors, a party of ideas" and must stop being "a party of factions and mechanisms."
Noting that Tzitzikostas is the candidate "who has broached these issues, who has undertaken to defend these principles," Voridis said, "I align myself in the struggle by his side."
According to some sources, Voridis had considered backing interim leader Evangelos Meimarakis before finally deciding to support Tzitzikostas. According to some conservatives, Voridis's support is an attempt to secure the post of vice president of the party in the event that Tzitzikostas wins.
In a scathing statement to Kathimerini, Georgiadis described Voridis's support for Tzitzikostas was the result of "a political exchange that will be condemned by voters" and claimed that his own rising popularity as a candidate had sparked a panic in the ranks of Tzitzikostas's campaign staff.