Athens, December 3, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The issue of election of the new president of New Democracy has become something of a soap opera, as it appears to be heading for next year as now there are many in Sygrou who speak openly about postponing the process, while there also discussions on the possibility of a division.
The fact is that the margins are narrowing, while there are scenarios that bring Samaras back to the fore, as one of his partners expressed the view that if the government loses the majority and the former prime minister is called upon to help, he will do so.
The meeting of the Central Election Committee (KEFEA), which would supposedly consider the information of the companies in order to take the final decisions, was cancelled, while it seems that Vodafone – which appeared as the dominant company – cannot guarantee that it can organise the elections, given the organisational problems on the part of New Democracy.
As possible new dates for the elections appear to be January 10 for the first and the January 17 for the second round, if necessary.
The looming postponement, however, will exacerbate frictions between the four presidential candidates and enhance the discontent of voters.
Already, the presidential candidates have been divided into two “camps”: On the one side, Meimarakis and Mitsotakis make it a priority to first find a reputable company and then set an election day, while, on the other, the Tzitzikostas and Georgiadis remain immovable on December 13.
On the sidelines of the meeting of the Parliamentary Group of ND on Tuesday, Apostle Tzitzikostas invited anyone who does not want elections in the party to say it openly, and talked about the existence of four companies, which content for the right to run the election on behalf of the party, despite the fact that members of KEFEA speak of one.
Vangelis Meimarakis has also expressed doubts about the date of the election. Invited to answer on whether to hold elections on December 13, he said he doesn’t not know anything about that. Indeed, he once again attacked Andreas Papamimikos, making it clear that he will not be represented at the meetings of KEFEA until the Secretary of the Political Committee explains what constitutes the impediment that caused him to resign from the Election Committee, while he deplored the fact that ND has not submitted a lawsuit against Infosolutions for the fiasco of the last elections.
Papamimikos however, in his statements on television, insisted that internal party elections can be held on December 13.
The delay by the competent committee of the ND to set both a company and a date of the elections has caused the indignation of the members of the party, while indicative of the displeasure within the party is the movement of 22 MPs on Tuesday – just before the start of the meeting of the parliamentary group of the party in the House – to adress a letter to the Meimarakis, Tzitzikostas, Mitsotakis and Georgiadis, with which they ask for the meeting among the four candidates to take place directly and for them to commit to a “code of respect and restraint”.
The “blue” Parliamentary Group met with express procedures, but also with notable absences. Absent from the meeting were former prime ministers Kostas Karamanlis and Antonis Samaras, but also Evangelos Meimarakis, while present were the other three candidates, Adonis Georgiadis Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Apostolos Tzitzikostas.
Although the provisional president, Yannis Plakiotakis, kept a low profile, unleashing mainly attack the government, several participants asked to set an election date acceptable by all the candidates, while the Apostle Tzitzikostas said that “the party base is “boiling” and the country needs an opposition”.