Greek Socialist party faces leadership issue

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

PASOK president George Papandreou faces leadership challenge.
Image: karpidis.

The PASOK party in Greece faces an internal conflict after the result of Sunday's elections in which the party lost from the conservative New Democracy. The 38,5% of the votes is the lowest percentage of PASOK since 1981 and many top party members accused the President of the party, George Papandreou. After the elections' result, former Minister of Culture and MP for the region of Thessaloniki, Evangelos Venizelos expressed his will to be candidate for the presidency of PASOK, however, it is not final whether Papandreou and Venizelos will be the only candidates. At the same time, PASOK’s National Committee meeting from 22-23 September will prove decisive, while the new president will be elected in the two or three following weeks.

As per an opinion poll, conducted by GPO company and commissioned by Television station Mega Channel, four out of ten civilians hold G. Papandreou responsible for PASOK’s defeat, while 73% of the voters considers Mr Evangelos Venizelos the most suitable leader for the party and 15% Mr George Papandreou. A former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis’ statement about PASOK’s poignant defeat has caused sensation. Mr Simitis appeared willing to guarantee the party’s unity and democratic procedures for the election of a new president, setting the party’s restructuring its top priority.

Other potential candidates, according to Greek media, are ex-Ministers Michalis Chrisohoidis, Kostas Skandalidis and Theodoros Pangalos as well as the former EU commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou.


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