Proto Thema – The huge voter turnout for the conservative main opposition New Democracy leadership election surpassed all expectations on Sunday, December 20. But either way, Crete wins with two candidates from the same southernmost island battling out against each other as foes, but above all – friends.
The extent of the ties between Meimarakis and the Mitsotakis family stem back in the early days when the fledgling liberal, head of the New Democracy Youth Group (ONNED) at a time when former Greek prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis – Kyriakos father – headed the party.
Since then, the family has backed Meimarakis, so much so that Dora Bakoyannis failed to support her own brother on Sunday’s showdown in favor of supporting his adversary. Rather than dwell on this, her brother brushed it off, stating that he shares a strong bond with his sister but this doesn’t mean that they see eye-to-eye on political matters.
Speculation throughout the campaign focused on Bakoyannis choice, with rumors abounding on what she would get in exchange including, sources say, the role of New Democracy deputy if Meimarakis were to win.
But it’s all give and take. Just a few days prior to Sunday, the one-time interim leader backed Mitsotakis candidacy in the case of his own failure by stating that he would not run for leadership if he came second to Kyriakos and would instead step down from the second round.
Now that they’re both in it promises to be an exciting second round and very perplexing time for Cretans, Dora and Constantinos Mitsotakis.