Former Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis announced on Tuesday he will stand down from Parliament and he will not seek his re-election at the general elections to be held in April.
The 67-year-old, who served as the Prime Minister of Greece from 2004 to 2009, said that “I have decided that it is time to complete my parliamentary journey.”
He added that he will always support the New Democracy government and the party “which I have served continuously for almost half a century. I will continue to be faithful to its history, ideology, principles and values.”
Karamanlis is still a towering figure within the New Democracy party. He was first elected as a member of the Hellenic Parliament for New Democracy in 1989 and became president of the party in 1997.
After leading the opposition in the Hellenic Parliament for seven years and his narrow defeat in the 2000 parliamentary election, he served as the 181st Prime Minister of Greece for two consecutive terms, winning the 2004 election, with an all-time record number of votes, and again in 2007.
However, he asked for mid-term general elections in 2009, as his party enjoyed a narrow parliamentary majority that could not guarantee a stable government, which was needed to handle the Greek financial crisis.
Eventually, Karamanlis was defeated and resigned as president of New Democracy after twelve years as the party’s leader.
Mitsotakis lauds the contribution of Kostas Karamanlis
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis lauded Karamanlis’ contribution to his party and Greece.
“I want to thank Kostas Karamanlis for his long-term contribution to the party and the country. I do not forget that under his own party leadership, I entered politics.
“I know that he always has New Democracy in his heart. That is why I am sure that, wherever he is, he will continue to devote all his energies for the good of Greece and our great party. And he will be present in the great electoral battle that is about to begin,” Mitsotakis said.