Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged to renew New Democracy while maintaining its unity as he officially took over control of the conservative party on Monday.
Mitsotakis was declared the winner of Sunday’s run-off vote as it emerged that he had won 52.4 percent of the vote, against 47.6 percent for rival candidate Evangelos Meimarakis. More than 330,000 people voted in the ballot.
“We will try to renew New Democracy creatively and with absolute respect to its traditions and with awareness of the current reality,” said Mitsotakis as he took over the presidency from caretaker leader Giorgos Plakiotakis.
He pledged that under his leadership New Democracy would stand against the “populism of an ineffective government.”
Mitsotakis said that his aim is to create a “big centre-right party” and that nobody would be left out of this effort.
Speaking on Skai TV earlier former education minister Evripidis Stylianidis, who supported Meimarakis, said that the elections result shows there are two different currents of thought within the party and that it is incumbent upon the new leader to find a way of combining the two.
Former health minister Adonis Georgiadis, who placed fourth in the first round of voting but then supported Mitsotakis, told Vima FM that he is certain the party will remain united.
“If he keeps to everyone that he announced, which I am sure he will, everything will be OK,” said Georgiadis.