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New Democracy (Greece)

New Democracy (Greece)

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New Democracy is the main centre-right
Centre-right
The centre-right or center-right is a political term commonly used to describe or denote individuals, political parties, or organizations whose views stretch from the centre to the right on the left-right spectrum, excluding far right stances. Centre-right can also describe a coalition of centrist...

 political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 and one of the two
Two-party system
A two-party system is a system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government and, as a result, all or nearly all elected offices are members of one of the two major parties...

 major parties
Major party
A major party is a political party that holds substantial influence in a country's politics, standing in contrast to a minor party. It should not be confused with majority party.According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:...

 in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. It was founded in 1974 by Konstantinos Karamanlis and formed the first cabinet of the Third Hellenic Republic. After serving as the Cabinet of Greece
Cabinet of Greece
The cabinet of Greece , officially called the Ministerial Council , constitutes the Government of Greece. It is the collective decision-making body of the Hellenic Republic, composed of the Prime Minister and the Ministers...

 from 2004 to 2009, New Democracy is now the main opposition party in the Hellenic Parliament
Hellenic Parliament
The Hellenic Parliament , also the Parliament of the Hellenes, is the Parliament of Greece, located in the Parliament House , overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece....

 after its smashing defeat in the 2009 Greek elections
Greek legislative election, 2009
Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 4 October 2009. An election was not required until September 2011.On 2 September Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis announced he would request President Karolos Papoulias to dissolve Parliament and call an election...

 in which they recorded their historical lowest percentage of votes. After the defeat former president Kostas Karamanlis, nephew of the party's founder, resigned and Antonis Samaras
Antonis Samaras
Antonis Samaras is a Greek economist and politician who has been leader of New Democracy, Greece's major conservative party and main opposition party, since 2009. A Member of Parliament for Messenia, he was Minister of Finance in 1989, then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1990 and again...

 was elected the new president of the party through a leadership election in November 2009. New Democracy is a member of the European People's Party
European People's Party
The European People's Party is a pro-European centre-right European political party. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives.The EPP is the most influential of...

 and currently has 7 out of 22 Greek MEPs
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

 in the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

.

History


ND was founded on 4 October 1974. Konstantinos Karamanlis was sworn in as the first Prime Minister in two months of the post-dictatorship
Greek military junta of 1967-1974
The Greek military junta of 1967–1974, alternatively "The Regime of the Colonels" , or in Greece "The Junta", and "The Seven Years" are terms used to refer to a series of right-wing military governments that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974...

 era. Karamanlis had already served as Prime Minister from 1955 to 1963. In the first free elections of the new era, New Democracy won. This result is attributed mostly to the personal appeal of Karamanlis, rather than the influence of ND as a party, to the electorate. "Karamanlis or tanks" was a slogan at the time, with the latter referring to the military, which, it was feared, might stage another coup.

Karamanlis claimed that he intended New Democracy to be a more modern and progressive right-wing party than those that ruled Greece before the 1967 military coup, including his own ERE
National Radical Union
The National Radical Union was a Greek political party formed in 1955 by Konstantinos Karamanlis out of the Greek Rally party....

 (Εθνική Ριζοσπαστικη Ενωση Ethniki Rizospastiki Enosis National Radical Union). The party's ideology was defined as "radical liberalism," a term defined by ND as "the prevalence of free market rules with the decisive intervention of the state in favour of social justice."

In 1977, ND again won national elections, albeit with a largely reduced majority (41.88%). Still, it retained a comfortable parliamentary majority. Under Karamanlis Greece redefined its relations with NATO, and tried to resolve the Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 issue following the Turkish invasion. In 1980, however, Karamanlis retired. His successor, George Rallis
George Rallis
Georgios Ioannou Rallis , Greek politician, was Prime Minister of Greece from 1980 to 1981.- Ancestors in politics :Rallis was descended from an old political family. Before Greek independence, Alexander Rallis was a prominent Phanariote . In 1849 his son George Rallis became Chief Justice of the...

, was defeated at the following elections by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Panhellenic Socialist Movement
The Panhellenic Socialist Movement , known mostly by its acronym PASOK , is one of the two major political parties in Greece. Founded on 3 September 1974 by Andreas Papandreou, in 1981 PASOK became Greece's first social democratic party to win a majority in parliament.The party is a socialist party...

 (PASOK) led by Andreas Papandreou
Andreas Papandreou
Andreas G. Papandreou ; 5 February 1919 – 23 June 1996) was a Greek economist, a socialist politician and a dominant figure in Greek politics. The son of Georgios Papandreou, Andreas was a Harvard-trained academic...

. Under ND leadership Greece joined the European Communities
European Communities
The European Communities were three international organisations that were governed by the same set of institutions...

 in 1981. Karamanlis was criticised by opposing parties (which were against the prospect of entering the EEC
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

), for not holding a referendum, despite the fact that entry into the EEC was prominent in the political platform under which New Democracy had been elected to power.

ND returned to power in a coalition government (prime minister: Tzannis Tzannetakis
Tzannis Tzannetakis
Tzannis Tzannetakis was a Greek politician who was briefly Prime Minister of Greece during the political crisis of 1989.-Biography:Tzannetakis was born in Gytheio in the region of Mani in 1927...

) with the traditional Left Party (Coalition of the Left and Progress, which at the time included the Communist Party of Greece
Communist Party of Greece
Founded in 1918, the Communist Party of Greece , better known by its acronym, ΚΚΕ , is the oldest party on the Greek political scene.- Foundation :...

) in 1989, subsequently participated in the grand coalition government of Xenophon Zolotas
Xenophon Zolotas
Xenophon Zolotas , was a Greek economist and served as an interim non-party Prime Minister of Greece.-Early life and career:Born in Athens in 1904, Zolotas studied economics at the University of Athens, and later studied in Leipzig and Paris. He came from a wealthy family of goldsmiths with roots...

 from November 1989 to April 1990 and, eventually, formed a majority government under Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis , a Greek politician, was born in Chania, Crete. He came from a political family: his father and grandfathers were members of parliament, and the great liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos was his uncle...

 after new elections were held on 10 April 1990. The party then suffered a period of successive losses. It was defeated by a landslide in 1993 under Mitsotakis, in 1996 under Miltiadis Evert
Miltiadis Evert
Miltiadis Evert , was a Greek politician, a member of Parliament, Government minister, and ex-chairman of the New Democracy party.Evert was born in Athens, Greece, the son of the Athens police chief Angelos Evert. He studied at the Athens School of Economics and Business Science...

, and in 2000 under Kostas Karamanlis, nephew of the party's founder. In 2000 ND lost by 1,06% of the popular vote, the smallest margin in modern Greek history.

By 2003, however, ND was consistently leading the PASOK
Panhellenic Socialist Movement
The Panhellenic Socialist Movement , known mostly by its acronym PASOK , is one of the two major political parties in Greece. Founded on 3 September 1974 by Andreas Papandreou, in 1981 PASOK became Greece's first social democratic party to win a majority in parliament.The party is a socialist party...

 government of Costas Simitis
Costas Simitis
Konstantinos Simitis , usually referred to as Costas Simitis or Kostas Simitis, was Prime Minister of Greece and leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement from 1996 to 2004.- Biography :...

 in opinion polls. In January 2004 Simitis resigned and announced elections for 7 March, at which Karamanlis faced the new PASOK leader, George Papandreou. Despite speculation that Papandreou would succeed in restoring PASOK's fortunes, Karamanlis had a victory in the elections and became Greece's first center-right Prime Minister after eleven years.

ND is a member of the European People's Party
European People's Party
The European People's Party is a pro-European centre-right European political party. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives.The EPP is the most influential of...

 (EPP), the International Democrat Union
International Democrat Union
The International Democrat Union, abbreviated to IDU, is a centre-right international alliance of conservative and liberal-conservative political parties. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the IDU comprises 45 full or associate members...

 (IDU) and the Christian Democrat International (CDI).

Support


The regions that consistently support New Democracy include the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

, Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the region of Macedonia. With a population of over 1.8 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica.- Administration :...

 and West Macedonia
West Macedonia
West Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the western part of Greek Macedonia. It is divided into the regional units of Florina, Grevena, Kastoria, and Kozani.-Geography:...

. On the other hand, the party is very weak in Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, the Aegean Islands
Aegean Islands
The Aegean Islands are the group of islands in the Aegean Sea, with mainland Greece to the west and north and Turkey to the east; the island of Crete delimits the sea to the south, those of Rhodes, Karpathos and Kasos to the southeast...

 and West Greece
West Greece
West Greece is one of the thirteen regions of Greece. It comprises the western part of continental Greece and the northwestern part of the Peloponnese peninsula.- Administration :...

. Other regions such as Central Greece
Central Greece
Continental Greece or Central Greece , colloquially known as Roúmeli , is a geographical region of Greece. Its territory is divided into the administrative regions of Central Greece, Attica, and part of West Greece...

 and Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 do not have a fixed political identity. Traditionally, the conservative political forces in Greece depended on the backing of the rural population and the business elite, while liberals and then socialists counted on the backing of intellectuals and the urban population, but these distinctions have been blurred over the years, especially since in Greek society there is much social mobility.

2007 re-election


On 16 September 2007, Kostas Karamanlis won re-election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

 with a diminished
Diminished
Diminished is to make smaller or less or to cause to appear so.Diminished may also refer to:*Diminution in Music*Diminished: A song in alternative rock band R.E.M.'s 1998 album Up↑...

 majority
Majority
A majority is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of its members. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset larger than any other subset; i.e. a plurality is not necessarily a majority as the largest subset may consist of less than half the group's population...

 in parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

, and stated:"Thank you for your trust. You have spoken loud and clear and chosen the course the country will take in the next few years." George Papandreou, main opposition socialist party PASOK
Panhellenic Socialist Movement
The Panhellenic Socialist Movement , known mostly by its acronym PASOK , is one of the two major political parties in Greece. Founded on 3 September 1974 by Andreas Papandreou, in 1981 PASOK became Greece's first social democratic party to win a majority in parliament.The party is a socialist party...

, accepted defeat (New Democracy party with 41.84%, and opposition party PASOK had 38.1%).

2009 defeat


On 2 September 2009 Karamanlis asked President Karolos Papoulias
Karolos Papoulias
-Honours:*Knight Grand Cross with Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic *Knight Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav *Knight of the Order of the Elephant- External links :*...

 to dissolve Parliament and call an election, although one was not required until September 2011. Parliament was dissolved on 9 September, and the Greek legislative election, 2009
Greek legislative election, 2009
Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 4 October 2009. An election was not required until September 2011.On 2 September Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis announced he would request President Karolos Papoulias to dissolve Parliament and call an election...

 was held on 4 October. New Democracy's share of the parliamentary vote dropped to 33.48% (down by −8.38, an all-time low) and they won only 91 of 300 seats, dropping by -61. The rival Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Panhellenic Socialist Movement
The Panhellenic Socialist Movement , known mostly by its acronym PASOK , is one of the two major political parties in Greece. Founded on 3 September 1974 by Andreas Papandreou, in 1981 PASOK became Greece's first social democratic party to win a majority in parliament.The party is a socialist party...

 soared to 43.92% (up +5.82), and took 160 seats (up +58). The 33.5% tally marked a historic low for the party since its founding in 1974. Karamanlis conceded defeat after the exit polls made the extent of the losses clear. He stated that he was resigning his offices, and would not stand as a candidate at the party convention summoned to elect his successor in November. Initial polls showed former Mayor of Athens and Foreign Minister
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Greece)
The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the senior minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, established on 3 April 1833. The current Minister for Foreign Affairs, since 11 November 2011 is the former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas...

 Dora Bakoyannis
Dora Bakoyannis
Dora Bakoyannis , born Theodora Mitsotaki , is a Greek politician. From 2006 to 2009 she was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, the highest position ever held by a woman in the Cabinet of Greece; she was also Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in...

 leading in the race for party head.

On 29 November 2009, Member of Parliament for Messenia
Messenia
Messenia is a regional unit in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011...

 and former minister Antonis Samaras
Antonis Samaras
Antonis Samaras is a Greek economist and politician who has been leader of New Democracy, Greece's major conservative party and main opposition party, since 2009. A Member of Parliament for Messenia, he was Minister of Finance in 1989, then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1990 and again...

 was elected the new leader of New Democracy by the party base. Following early results showing Samaras in the lead, his main rival Dora Bakoyannis
Dora Bakoyannis
Dora Bakoyannis , born Theodora Mitsotaki , is a Greek politician. From 2006 to 2009 she was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, the highest position ever held by a woman in the Cabinet of Greece; she was also Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in...

 conceded defeat and congratulated Samaras for his election.

Election results, Greek parliamentary elections 1974-2009

Year Party Leader Number of votes Percentage of votes Number of members
in the Hellenic Parliament
Hellenic Parliament
The Hellenic Parliament , also the Parliament of the Hellenes, is the Parliament of Greece, located in the Parliament House , overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece....

Position in Parliament
1974
Greek legislative election, 1974
The first free elections since 1964 and after the end of the Greek military junta of 1967-1974 took place in Greece on November 17, 1974 during the metapolitefsi....

Konstantinos Karamanlis
2,669,133
54.37%
220
Government
1977
Greek legislative election, 1977
In the Greek legislative election, 1977, Prime Minister, Constantine Karamanlis, called for early elections. His party, New Democracy, suffered a significant loss of power, but, nevertheless, Karamanlis managed to secure an absolute majority in the Parliament. The big surprise was the success of...

Konstantinos Karamanlis
2,146,365
41.84%
171
Government
1981
Greek legislative election, 1981
The Greek legislative election held on 18 October 1981 marked a new era in the modern history of Greece.Panhellenic Socialist Movement , led by Andreas Papandreou, faced New Democracy, led by Georgios Rallis. Papandreou achieved a landslide and PASOK formed the first socialistic government in the...

George Rallis
George Rallis
Georgios Ioannou Rallis , Greek politician, was Prime Minister of Greece from 1980 to 1981.- Ancestors in politics :Rallis was descended from an old political family. Before Greek independence, Alexander Rallis was a prominent Phanariote . In 1849 his son George Rallis became Chief Justice of the...

2,034,496
35.87%
115
Main opposition party
1985
Greek legislative election, 1985
Legislative elections were held in the Hellenic Republic on 2 June, 1985. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek parliament, the Voule.The ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Andreas Papandreou, was re-elected, defeating the conservative New Democracy party of Constantine Mitsotakis ....

Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis , a Greek politician, was born in Chania, Crete. He came from a political family: his father and grandfathers were members of parliament, and the great liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos was his uncle...

2,599,681
40.84%
126
Main opposition party
1989 (I)
Greek legislative election, 1989 (June)
Legislative elections were held in the Hellenic Republic on June 18, 1989. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek parliament, the Voule.The liberal-conservative New Democracy party of Constantine Mitsotakis defeated the Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Andreas Papandreou...

Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis , a Greek politician, was born in Chania, Crete. He came from a political family: his father and grandfathers were members of parliament, and the great liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos was his uncle...

2,887,488
44.28%
145
In coalition government with KKE
Communist Party of Greece
Founded in 1918, the Communist Party of Greece , better known by its acronym, ΚΚΕ , is the oldest party on the Greek political scene.- Foundation :...

 and SYN
1989 (II)
Greek legislative election, 1989 (November)
Legislative elections were held in the Hellenic Republic on November 5, 1989. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek parliament, the Voule.The conservative New Democracy party of Constantine Mitsotakis, was elected, defeating the Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Andreas Papandreou...

Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis , a Greek politician, was born in Chania, Crete. He came from a political family: his father and grandfathers were members of parliament, and the great liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos was his uncle...

3,093,479
46.19%
148
Part of an all-party coalition government
1990
Greek legislative election, 1990
Legislative elections were held in the Hellenic Republic on 8 April 1990. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek parliament, the Voule.The conservative New Democracy party of Constantine Mitsotakis, was elected, defeating the Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Andreas Papandreou. rowspan=2 colspan=2...

Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis , a Greek politician, was born in Chania, Crete. He came from a political family: his father and grandfathers were members of parliament, and the great liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos was his uncle...

3,088,137
46.89%
150
Government
1993
Greek legislative election, 1993
Legislative elections were held in the Hellenic Republic on October 10, 1993. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek parliament, the Voule.The Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Andreas Papandreou, was elected, defeating the conservative New Democracy party of Constantine Mitsotakis.-Results:...

Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis
Constantine Mitsotakis , a Greek politician, was born in Chania, Crete. He came from a political family: his father and grandfathers were members of parliament, and the great liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos was his uncle...

2,711,739
39.30%
111
Main opposition party
1996
Greek legislative election, 1996
Legislative elections were held in the Hellenic Republic on 22 September 1996. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek Parliament.The ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Costas Simitis, was elected, defeating the liberal-conservative New Democracy party of Miltiadis Evert.-Results: rowspan=2...

Miltiadis Evert
Miltiadis Evert
Miltiadis Evert , was a Greek politician, a member of Parliament, Government minister, and ex-chairman of the New Democracy party.Evert was born in Athens, Greece, the son of the Athens police chief Angelos Evert. He studied at the Athens School of Economics and Business Science...

2,584,765
38.12%
108
Main opposition party
2000
Kostas Karamanlis
2,935,196
42.74%
125
Main opposition party
2004
Greek legislative election, 2004
Legislative elections were held in Greece on March 7, 2004. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek Parliament, the Vouli . The New Democracy Party of Kostas Karamanlis won a decisive victory in the elections, ending eleven years of rule by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement .PASOK was led into the...

Kostas Karamanlis
3,359,058
45.36%
165
Government
2007
Kostas Karamanlis
2,994,979
41.84%
152
Government
2009
Greek legislative election, 2009
Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 4 October 2009. An election was not required until September 2011.On 2 September Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis announced he would request President Karolos Papoulias to dissolve Parliament and call an election...

Kostas Karamanlis
2,295,967
33.48%
91 (now 85)
Main opposition party

Leaders

  • Konstantinos Karamanlis (1974–1980)
  • Georgios Rallis  (1980–1981)
  • Evangelos Averoff
    Evangelos Averoff
    Evangelos Averoff-Tositsas was a distinguished right-wing Greek politician of Aromanian origin and author of several books on political and historical topics....

      (1981–1984)
  • Konstantinos Mitsotakis (1984–1993)
  • Miltiadis Evert
    Miltiadis Evert
    Miltiadis Evert , was a Greek politician, a member of Parliament, Government minister, and ex-chairman of the New Democracy party.Evert was born in Athens, Greece, the son of the Athens police chief Angelos Evert. He studied at the Athens School of Economics and Business Science...

      (1993–1997)
  • Kostas Karamanlis  (1997–2009)
  • Antonis Samaras
    Antonis Samaras
    Antonis Samaras is a Greek economist and politician who has been leader of New Democracy, Greece's major conservative party and main opposition party, since 2009. A Member of Parliament for Messenia, he was Minister of Finance in 1989, then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1990 and again...

    (2009–present)

External links