The two candidates for the leadership of New Democracy – Evangelos Meimarakis and Kyriakos Mitsotakis – are making their final preparations for the critical vote on Sunday.

In a Thursday-morning interview on Mega Channel Mr. Meimarakis referred to his clash with party secretary Andreas Papamimikos. Mr. Meimarakis denied reports that he called Mr. Papamimikos a “doorman” and clarified that his original statement was that Mr. Papamimikos is not suitable for the position of secretary and accused him of being obsessed and bitter.

Regarding Sunday’s election, he noted that he does not see it as a “battle” and underlined how he has had a civilized discussion with Mr. Mitsotakis. Mr. Meimarakis also estimated that former PM Kostas Karamanlis would have returned to the forefront if he desired to so and stated that he respects and honors former PM and party leader Antonis Samaras. He also estimated that the government’s pension reform will bring new cuts and further recession.

Similarly, in an interview on SKAI, Mr. Mitsotakis stressed that irrespective of Sunday’s electoral outcome, he will continue to serve New Democracy and avoided escalating the tension with Mr. Meimarakis. He also claimed to not be a neoliberal politician, in response to accusations from Mr. Meimarakis

One of the major issues at stake, he explained, was renewal within the party. Mr. Mitsotakis insisted that he can bring meaningful renewal to the party and noted that while age has nothing to do with it (as argued by Mr. Meimarakis) it plays an important role that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, Mr. Mitsotakis revealed that he intends to vote against the government’s pension reform and ruled out any chance of an alliance with SYRIZA, since he does not trust party leader and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.