New Democracy aims for December 20 vote

New Democracy aims for December 20 vote

New Democracy’s electoral committee is due to meet on Friday to finalize the decision to hold the first round of the party’s leadership election on December 20 after the botched attempt to elect a new conservative president on November 22.

The panel will on Friday assess the proposal by Vodafone, which is set to replace the previous software firm, for the ballot’s organization. The party had received another offer from a firm on Crete but after the fiasco last month, when the IT system failed to work properly on the day of the election, the party has decided to stick with a big name in the hope of avoiding further embarrassment.

There was some concern within the party that Sunday, December 20 might not be the most appropriate day to hold the vote as it coincides with retail stores being open ahead of Christmas. However, the view that prevailed was that the party could not drag out the process any longer given that the leadership campaign began soon after the September 20 general elections.

The cost of holding the ballot is expected to reach close to 1 million euros, meaning the party may have to consider increasing the 3-euro fee it had intended to charge each person casting a ballot, including people who could sign up as members on the day. If the fee remains at 3 euros, it means more than 300,000 people would have to vote on December 20 and this is considered a higher number than those who will actually turn out.

If none of the four candidates manages to win more than 50 percent of the vote on December 20, a second ballot will be held on January 10, when the two leading hopefuls will fight it out.