Leader of the Opposition (Greece)

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Leader of the Opposition
Αρχηγός της Αξιωματικής Αντιπολίτευσης
Alexis Tsipras in Moscow 2.jpg
Alexis Tsipras

since 8 July 2019
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest political party not in government
Inaugural holderYannis Makriyannis
Formation16 September 1843
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The Leader of the Opposition (Greek: Αρχηγός της Αξιωματικής Αντιπολίτευσης) is the politician who leads the official Opposition in Greece.


The Leader of the Opposition is normally the leader of the largest party not within the government, which is usually the second largest political party in the Hellenic Parliament.

One exception to this rule was during the Papademos government, when Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy, despite supporting the new government, retained the position of Leader of the Opposition. According to the Standing Orders of the Hellenic Parliament (Art. 20) "The President of the largest Parliamentary Group which does not participate in the Government, is called Leader of the Opposition and has special rights recognised by the Parliament's Standing Orders and current provisions". Because Samaras wanted to retain this position, no New Democracy MPs joined the Government, since if a single MP had joined the Government as a minister that would have meant that the New Democracy Parliamentary Group participated in the Government. Only non-MPs were allowed to join the Government. In fact, the new Defence Minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, was forced to resign from his seat in order to satisfy the above provision. Despite protests form the other parties, the Parliament's Speaker decided that there was no violation of Art. 20, since no New Democracy MP participated in the Government.

Following the January 2015 legislative election, Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy, became Leader of the Opposition for a second time.

Samaras resigned as chairman of New Democracy on 5 July 2015, after the overwhelming victory of the "No" vote in the Greek bailout referendum, naming Vangelis Meimarakis as transitional chairman.[1]

List of Leaders of the Opposition since 1974[edit]

Political Party:   EK–ND / EDIK   PASOK   ND   SYRIZA

Portrait Name Political Party Term of office
GEORGIOS MAVROS.jpg Georgios Mavros Centre Union – New Forces
in 1976 merged into
Union of the Democratic Centre
1974 28 November 1977
Andreas Papandreou (1968) 3.jpg Andreas Papandreou PASOK 28 November 1977 21 October 1981
No image.png Georgios Rallis New Democracy 21 October 1981 December 1981
No image.png Evangelos Averoff New Democracy December 1981 1 September 1984
Mitsotakis 1992.jpg Konstantinos Mitsotakis New Democracy 1 September 1984 12 October 1989
Andreas Papandreou (1968) 3.jpg Andreas Papandreou PASOK 12 October 1989 23 November 1989
None – National Unity Government 23 November 1989 11 April 1990
Andreas Papandreou (1968) 3.jpg Andreas Papandreou PASOK 11 April 1990 13 October 1993
No image.png Miltiadis Evert New Democracy 13 October 1993 21 March 1997
Kostas Karamanlis Apr 29 08 cropped.jpg Kostas Karamanlis New Democracy 21 March 1997 10 March 2004
Papandreou handover cropped.jpg George Papandreou PASOK 10 March 2004 6 October 2009
Antonis Samaras October 2014.jpg Antonis Samaras New Democracy 30 November 2009 20 June 2012
Alexis Tsipras 2015 (cropped).jpg Alexis Tsipras SYRIZA 20 June 2012 26 January 2015
Antonis Samaras October 2014.jpg Antonis Samaras New Democracy 26 January 2015 5 July 2015
Meimarakis.jpg Vangelis Meimarakis New Democracy 5 July 2015 24 November 2015
Plakiotakis.png Ioannis Plakiotakis New Democracy 24 November 2015 11 January 2016
Kyriakos Mitsotakis 0317.jpg Kyriakos Mitsotakis New Democracy 11 January 2016 8 July 2019
Alexis Tsipras 2015 (cropped).jpg Alexis Tsipras SYRIZA 8 July 2019 Incumbent

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Παραιτήθηκε ο Αντώνης Σαμαράς από την ηγεσία της Νέας Δημοκρατίας" (in Greek). in.gr. 5 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.