Today marks the commencement of the pre-election phase for the European elections, as New Democracy, the party in government, unveils a roster of 20 candidates set to compete in the European ballot.

The five MEPs, Vangelis Meimarakis, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Eliza Vozemberg, Maria Spyraki, and Stelios Kympouropoulos, will once again be candidates.

MEP Anna Michel Asimakopoulou will not be part of the candidate lineup, stemming from the controversy surrounding the unauthorized mass distribution of emails by Asimakopoulou’s office to Greek expatriates ahead of the upcoming European elections. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has opted to omit Theodoros Zagorakis, the ex-captain of the victorious Greek football team in the 2004 Euro Cup, amid speculations suggesting his potential alignment with the opposition party PASOK.

Among the names to be announced today are former minister Vasilis Kontozamanis, deputy regional governor of Macedonia Voula Patoulidou, International Politics professor Sotiris Serbos, President of the Panhellenic Medical Association Athanasios Exadaktylos, former mayor of Samos Michalis Angelopoulos, and former PASOK deputy minister Evi Christofilopoulou.

The roster also features Pyrros Dimas, the highly decorated Olympic Weightlifting champion, along with Dimitris Tsiodras, the head of the Prime Minister’s press office, Spiros Karanikolas, academic Napoleon Maravegias, and Vasilis Sakellaris, serving as the Secretary of International Relations for the Youth Organization of New Democracy (ONNED). Additionally, it includes TV presenter and former New Democracy MP Noni Dounia, Giorgos Amiras and Vicky Flessa.

The candidacy of George Aftias, a presenter for SKAI TV, will not be unveiled today. Additionally, the status of the detained elected Mayor of Himare, Fredi Beleri in Albania, remains unresolved due to conflicting approaches within the prime minister’s office. A resolution on this matter is anticipated by next week.