Tuesday, January 31

Greek socialists elect Nikos Andrulakis as their new president


Correspondent in Athens

Updated:

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The second round of the elections to elect the new Greek socialist president, after the unexpected death of Fofi Yenimatá (who had been quietly fighting a cancer that had spread for years), changes the Greek political future. More than 200,000 people voted this Sunday and was elected by a majority, with an overwhelming 68.42%, Nikos Andrulakis, a 42-year-old Cretan engineer. He defeated Yorgos Papandreu in this final vote, who only obtained 31.55%.

“PASOK has returned and is here, united and strong,” Andrulakis said yesterday night, surrounded by white and green flags with the well-known symbol of the green sun. And he has made it clear: “Today a new page opens for the democratic party.” These are words that recall the times of the founder of the panhellenic socialist movement PASOK, Andreas Papandreu, but with a new tint. And they make it clear that now those who left the party and went with the radicals (leading them to the electoral victories of 2015) will be welcomed back to their party.

Andrulakis has symbolically returned to his roots by making statements from the party’s former headquarters, on Jarilaos Trikupi Street, insisting that the party is stronger after the large turnout in these elections. Υ confirmed by political analysts: these elections coincide with the rise of the party in the polls intention to vote in recent weeks. It is due in part to the fact that the harsh opposition of the radicals does not convince and the government party accuses the fatigue of its voters due in large part to the pandemic and its health and economic consequences, as well as the energy crisis and the rise in prices.

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New face with calls for unity

Many of the socialist voters and friends (people without a party card could also vote, paying 3 euros) are those who have preferred a relatively new and little-known face: Nikos Andrulakis he is a 42 year old engineer. Active in politics since university, he became, in parallel with his work in the private sector, a member of the PASOK youths, and as of 2014 a member of the powerful central committee that quickly elected him political secretary.

In 2014, one of the two socialist members of the European Parliament was elected (with the Elia formation, bringing together socialists and other center-left voters), being re-elected in 2019. And the one who works so far in Brussels was what Yorgos Papandreu stood out the most. when he wanted to preside over the party again, insisting that a party president should have his seat in the Greek Parliament.

68% of the voters of yesterday Sunday did not agree with him and preferred this younger face without a past. Because Yorgos Papandreou was the prime minister of the great victory in 2009 but he brought the country to the first rescue, resigned, formed a new party that failed and returned to his “home.” Too much baggage for those who want me to the socialists are again the second party of the country and can encourage voters who voted for him for years to leave the radicals and return. And most importantly, you need to win over the youngest. That is why Andrulakis’s first message last night was clear: a message of thanks to all voters and a call for unity, “the basic legacy of our late president, Fofis Gennimata.” The Cretan insisted that he is committed to honoring his mandate of “renewal, unity and political autonomy.” And it leaves behind the words Movement for Change, KINAL, which was the name of the center-left formation. Now, he insists, “PASOK is back.”

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