PASOK candidate labeled a copycat

PASOK leader George Papandreou yesterday indirectly accused Evangelos Venizelos, his main rival for the party leadership, of trying to copy Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, as a poll indicated that the challenger is trailing by some distance. «People want something that is genuinely different and will not choose something that is a copy of the current prime minister,» Papandreou said in an interview broadcast on NET yesterday. «I have no intention of copying the manner of governing, the political beliefs or the leadership style of Mr Karamanlis,» added the PASOK leader, who insisted that he wants his party to be «radical.» An opinion poll made public yesterday indicated that Papandreou has a 12-point lead over Venizelos. The survey, conducted by Metron Analysis for Antenna TV, puts Papandreou on 49 percent, Venizelos on 37 percent and Costas Skandalidis on just 8 percent ahead of the November 11 ballot. The winning candidate needs to gain 50 percent of the vote, otherwise there will be a runoff ballot between the top two on November 18. Yesterday’s poll also suggested that 68 percent of PASOK voters think that Papandreou will win the ballot. Only a quarter think that Venizelos will become the party’s next leader. In a speech in Athens last night, Venizelos accused Papandreou of always trying to blame others for the party’s failings and not accepting responsibility himself.