Gennimata, Androulakis head for runoff leadership race for new centre-left coalition party

PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata secured a clear advantage at the first round of elections for a leader to the new center-left party on Sunday, but will have to contest a runoff with runner-up Nikos Androulakis a week later, while voter turnout exceeded expectations.

With some 83 percent of the votes counted, Gennimata had a 42.5 percent share and Androulakis, a member of the European Parliament and former secretary of PASOK, collected 25.2 percent.

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis was third with 13.5 percent and To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis got 9.8 percent. They have both congratulated Gennimata for her result, with Theodorakis asking her to make the most of the high turnout in this election.

Speaking after the initial result was announced, the head of the Committee, Nikos Alivizatos, said participation exceeded the target of 200,000 participants. Voting was extended in a few polling stations due to the number of participants.

“It is a big success, regardless of the winner,” Alivizatos, said on the result. “People showed they want something truly reformist between New Democracy and SYRIZA. Today’s result is the best response to the cynics and those who derided the process,” he added.

According to political analysts, participation is close to that recorded in the PASOK leadership election of May 2012, at the open voting process initiated by George Papandreou in 2004. In that election, Papandreou lost to Evangelos Venizelos who was elected president of PASOK.