While everybody has/had been awaiting for ex Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to resign from Nea Dimokratia leadership as he lost the elections, the ex PM is still there, alive and kicking. At a 3-day meeting of the Political Committee of the party over the weekend, at least 15 ND lawmakers challenged him and asked for a party congress implying Green Light for his replacement.
Main challenger for ND presidents’ chair seems for the time being former Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, who declared ready to claim the ND leadership.
Also Samaras’ arch-enemy, the Mitsotakis family, has an eye on the ND chair, although it is not clear whether Kyriakos Mitsotakis or his sister Dora Bakoyianni would join the race. In fact, Bakoyiannis would love to see her son leading the ND one day, but this is not possible for the time being.
Officially it seems that Samaras is not leaving the ND chair awaiting for SYRIZA-led government to “collapse” and thus as soon as possible. Former Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis claimed at the ND meeting that “SYRIZA will not manage it until Eastern”. The populist MP did not elaborate, how exactly the government would collapse and on what constitutional grounds.
It is not a secret that Samaras has some unfounded expectation that if SYRIZA suffers some political defeat that he will lead the country again. Unfounded because all polls after the elections show that the ND is plunging with more than 20% difference to SYRIZA and that only 12% consider “Samaras as suitable for PM.”
Source close to ND have repeatedly told KTG, that ND officials have been awaiting for Samaras to be politically worn out and go by himself. They also say that the one of the problems delaying his replacement is that “there is no serious challenger for Samaras within the party, someone who will manage to get together ND officials preferably from the Karamanlis fraction.”
There has been strong pressure to former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlsi to return as ND-leader, but so far he has turned the request down.