With polls ahead, main parties seek to expand appeal


With local authority elections looming next May, both main parties are said to be seeking to broaden their appeal, reaching out to candidates from other parts of the political spectrum and public life.

Frangiskos Alvertis, a former basketball star with Athens team Panathinaikos and the national squad, has denied reports that leftist SYRIZA asked him to run on its ticket for mayor of Athens. “There has been no such discussion with anyone,” the former basketballer was quoted as saying by Greek news websites.

Meanwhile, the main opposition New Democracy party has also been expanding its horizons. ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday announced the addition of two new names to the conservatives’ ticket for next year's general elections: former SYRIZA MP and author Petros Tatsopoulos and sports writer Antonis Panoutsos.

“The broadening of New Democracy continues dynamically,” Mitsotakis wrote in a post on Twitter announcing the collaboration with the pair. “I welcome them in our great effort to change Greece. Together we can,” he wrote.

Along with seeking to broaden ND’s appeal, Mitsotakis is also aiming to challenge Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s stated aim to overhaul the Greek Constitution.

The ND leader is on Wednesday expected to present his party’s proposal for a “bold and broad” overhaul of the Constitution with recommended changes to 57 articles.