Coming from behind for an upset victory, the son of a former Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, beat Evangelos Meimarakis in a run-off election of New Democracy voters.
According to unofficial results, Mitsotakis garnered more than 52 per cent of the vote to 48 per cent for Meimarakis, a former speaker of parliament and interim leader of the party after former prime minister Antonis Samaras resigned in January.
“We have a mandate from our members to revive the party and put the past behind us,” he said after his victory— a reference to long-running feuds among senior New Democracy politicians and Byzantine political intrigue that even impacted family ties.
Right up until the election, Mitsotakis’ sister Dora Bakoyianni, refused to endorse her brother. The media gave various scenarios behind her refusal to support her brother, including her desire to promote her son Kostas Bakoyiannis as an up and coming New Democracy star.
The Harvard-educated Mitsotakis was billed as an outsider in the leadership race since the party’s establishment openly supported Mr Meimarakis, an outspoken veteran of New Democracy’s populist wing.