Democratic Alignment (PASOK) chief Fofi Gennimata heads into the runoff election against Nikos Androulakis for the leadership of the new center-left party as the favorite after her emphatic victory in Sunday’s first round.
Gennimata won 42.76 percent of the vote, 17 points ahead of Androulakis – a member of the European Parliament and a former PASOK party secretary.
Moreover, the voter turnout of 210,000 – far exceeding the projected turnout of 180,000 – has fueled optimism that there is a future for a new center-left party.
But with both politicians considered to be far closer than the other candidates to the largely discredited PASOK party, there are concerns that public interest in Sunday’s runoff could wane given the absence of Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis and others.
And with this concern in mind, reports said on Monday that Androulakis was advised by some to pull out of the runoff given that Gennimata had won by such a wide margin on Sunday.
But Androulakis reportedly rejected the move, saying that Gennimata was well under the 50 percent threshold in the first round.
Analysts say Gennimata – the daughter of the late Giorgos Gennimatas, a prominent and popular PASOK minister – will pursue a low-key campaign while Androulakis is expected to run on a platform targeting family dynasties in politics.