PASOK ballot date is affirmed

PASOK’s leadership ballot will be held on November 11 despite pressure from some party officials, sources close to Socialist leader George Papandreou said yesterday. High-ranking MPs Anna Diamantopoulou and Apostolos Kaklamanis suggested that the vote could be held earlier to avoid deep divisions forming in the party. However, after a meeting with close aides yesterday, Papandreou let it be known that he would not be changing the date of the vote, which had been agreed by members of PASOK’s political council. The group is due to meet again tomorrow, in what is expected to be a tense session as Papandreou will encounter the other two leadership candidates, Evangelos Venizelos and Costas Skandalidis. Papandreou aides also clarified that plans for anyone who registers with PASOK up to and including November 11 will be eligible to vote still apply. PASOK’s national council will also meet this weekend and Papandreou is expected to use the opportunity to outline the reasons for the party’s dismal showing at last month’s general election. Following the national council meeting, Venizelos is expected to step up his campaigning in an effort to convince PASOK voters around the country to back his bid for the leadership. Sources close to Venizelos said that he will target the grassroots of the party where support for Papandreou remains high.

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