PASOK elects new secretary

PASOK leader George Papandreou did not get the ringing endorsement he wanted yesterday for his preferred candidate for party secretary Yiannis Ragoussis. The former party spokesman was elected but not by the margin Papandreou would have liked. Ragoussis received 159 of 273 votes from members of the national council. Pantelis Economou, a candidate that was not backed by any of the party’s big guns, received 43 votes while 59 ballots were blank. There were also 12 spoiled ballots. Sources said that Papandreou had tried to convince MP Dimitris Reppas to stand instead of Ragoussis but the former government spokesman and employment minister refused. Following last week’s PASOK conference, Papandreou had been hoping that the party’s faith in him would have been renewed. The results of the vote for members of the political council, PASOK’s main decision-making body, were expected late last night.

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