Conservative New Democracy leader Vangelis Meimarakis (C) is surrounded by party supporters after voting for the general election in Athens, Greece, September 20, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
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The leader of Greece's conservatives signaled Tuesday he would step down as the party seeks to recover from the shock of a heavy election defeat that pollsters failed to predict.New Democracy said it would hold a leadership election as soon as possible after losing to the leftist Syriza party. Vangelis Meimarakis, who shepherded the party through Sunday's ballot, said he was unlikely to stand.Meimarakis took over in July after former prime minister Antonis Samaras quit the party leadership in response to a strong 'No' vote in a referendum on whether Greece should accept the terms of what became its third international bailout.Commentators generally agreed that Meimarakis matched Tsipras in two high-profile televised debates at which he pushed one central message: that Tsipras could not be trusted after accepting the bailout terms he had vehemently opposed.
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