Meimarakis Wins First Round of New Democracy Leadership Election



Vangelis Meimarakis

Evangelos Meimarakis is the winner of Sunday’s election for the presidency of the New Democracy party, the main political opposition force in Greece, without, however, securing the party’s reigns as of yet.

Meimarakis, who served as interim party president from July 2015 until November 2015, does not have a guaranteed return to the helm, despite coming in first on Sunday with around 40% of the vote thus far. Depending on the exact share of the vote he receives there could be a second election round between him and Sunday’s runner up. Namely, failure to garner more than 50% of the vote would lead to a second electoral battle.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis is that runner-up so far and Apostolos Tzitzikostas is a close third, according to Kathimerini newspaper, which cites sources from the party. Adonis Georgiadis comes in fourth. The official figures will be made known later on Sunday evening.

It was a long day for the voters, with long lines in various polling stations and a significant turnout. According to Greek media reports, more than 400,000 people voted.

It was also a nervy wait for those anxious to find out the result. Polls were initially set to close at 7 pm. However, the party’s electoral committee decided to extend that to 8 pm. A technical problem that shut down the voting system for about half an hour all across Greece, caused another delay.

The party was adamant in closing the poll’s as late as needed so that all those interested could vote.