New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced Sunday that Evangelos Meimarakis, his former rival for the leadership, will lead the party's effort in the elections to the European Parliament, in May 2019.
Mitsotakis had narrowly defeated Meimarakis for the top party post in January 2016.
Mitsotakis' announcement came on the last day of New Democracy's 12th Congress.
The 65-year-old Meimarakis, son of a former MP and himself a veteran party operative, first became known in the 1980s as leader of the party's youth wing. He also held several ministerial posts portfolio and was the Greek Parliament's speaker from 2012-2015 before serving as interim party, and opposition, leader, from July to November 2015.
In accepting his new role, Meimarakis noted that, with the European and local elections taking place next May, and with the date of the national election still to be fixed _ it could even be held at the same time as the other two _ New Democracy's voters should rally around the candidates anointed by the party and not disperse their votes, just because the European and local elections do not decide the country's governance.