Evangelos Meimarakis resigned yesterday (24.11) as interim leader of the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, assuming responsibility for Sunday’s embarrassing technical failure to hold a leadership election and citing the need for the conservative party to remain united. 
Sunday, November 22, was supposed to be the day ND elected a new president, after almost five months of Meimarakis being interim leader, following the resignation of Antonis Samaras last July.  

Meimarakis said he will still run for the party’s presidency, alongside former ministers Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Adonis Georgiadis, and Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzicostas, when the elections eventually take place, most likely on December 13.

Meimarakis appointed as party vice-president Yiannis Plakiotakis, the secretary of ND’s parliamentary group, stating that he has been targeted in a “vulgar and immoral” attack and that his decision to step down was “an attempt to diffuse tensions within the party and among ND supporters”.

Plakiotakis effectively becomes the new interim president until a new leader is elected, either in the first ballot or a week later in a runoff vote. None of the other three presidential candidates objected to Plakiotakis appointment, who was applauded at yesterday’s meeting of New Democracy’s parliamentary group.