New Democ­racy can­di­dates’ gloves come off

Meimarakis in­vites all four to move into Syn­grou HQ fol­low­ing crit­i­cism

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

De­spite public as­ser­tions of party unity, the four can­di­dates in New Democ­racy’s lead­er­ship race are re­mov­ing their gloves ahead of the first round of the con­test set for Novem­ber 22. Es­ca­lat­ing con­fronta­tion does not al­ways come in the form of public state­ments.

Evan­ge­los Meimarakis, the con­ser­va­tives’ care­taker pres­i­dent, yesterday re­sponded to as­ser­tions leaked by of­fi­cials close to Cen­tral Mace­do­nia Gover­nor Apos­to­los Tz­itzikostas that he should leave ND’s head­quar­ters in the runup to the vote. Meimarakis hit back propos­ing that all can­di­dates move into the premises on Syn­grou Av­enue.

A source close to another can­di­date, for­mer min­is­ter Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis, noted that “ND’s pres­i­dent also hap­pens to be a can­di­date. We are cer­tain that Meimarakis will han­dle this sen­si­tive po­si­tion with due dis­cre­tion.” He also di­rected crit­i­cism at Tz­itzikostas, who is not an elected mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, say­ing that his elec­tion would de­mand a dual lead­er­ship of the party un­til 2019. “Tz­itzikostas has to say in public… who will lead ND’s par­lia­men­tary group if he is elected pres­i­dent,” Mit­so­takis told Vima FM. He ruled out the a split.

“Any­one who tries to di­vide ND on the day af­ter will face the anger of New Democ­racy vot­ers who want that unity to be pro­tected.”

His call for unity was echoed by ex-min­is­ter Ado­nis Ge­or­giadis. “I want us to stay friends on the day af­ter,” he said. “Our aim is to make ND a big­ger party, not a smaller one.”

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