Large turnout to elect leader of new centre-left party

Large turnout to elect leader of new centre-left party
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Pasok leader Fofi Gennimata was the big winner in yesterday’s election to pick the leader of a new centre-left alliance party, clinching 42.50 percent of the vote, with runner-up Nikos Androulakis, a former party secretary, winning 25.14 percent of the vote, with an electorate of over 210,000 voters.

The two will face-off in a runoff next Sunday in a ballot in which Gennimata is the clear favourite, as neither managed to garner the over 50 percent of the vote required to win in the first round.
Voters were charged three euros to register, and only those who voted in the first round are permitted to vote in the run-off.

The core of the new party, which has yet to be officially formed, will be Pasok and Stavros Theodorakis’ To Potami party, both of which are currently represented in parliament.

The two leading non-Pasok candidates, Theodorakis and Athens Mayor Yorgos Kaminis, suffered an electoral beating, with the former garnering 9.8 percent of the vote and the latter 13.5 percent.

Both declared that they will continue to support the effort to create a new party that can reclaim the centre-left voters that in recent elections had flocked to the ruling Syriza party.

“The 212,000 Greeks who voted are co-founders of the grand centre-left. They gave a mandate for unity and change. They vindicated our initiative,” Gennimata declared after the first-round results were in.

“They sent a message of resistance to the downward spiral and imperiousness of the government, and a reaction to conservatism and austerity.”

Runner-up Nikos Androulakis depicted himself as the candidate of the younger generation of centrist voters. “We are asking for a strong mandate for renewal and generational change, looking ahead to the day after. I am here for us together to battle for the renewal of the party and the country,” he said.

Kaminis indicated that he continues to seek a role in the emerging party. “Our ideas, our proposals, and the people who represent us will be present,” he said. All of us together will build our new party. All of us together will change the country.

As for the remaining candidates, former Pasok minister Yannis Maniatis garnered 4.26 percent, former Pasok minister Yannis Ragousis 2.39 percent, former Economic University of Athens rector Konstantinos Gatsios 1.65 percent, Apostolos Pontas 0.53 percent, and Dimitris Tziotis 0.20 percent.

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