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Papandreou’s PASOK Scores Landslide Win

Papandreou(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party and its leader George Papandreou posted a landslide election victory on Sunday in Greece’s snap election, garnering 43.94% of the vote, against 33.48% for New Democracy with 99.04% of votes counted. This translates into 160 seats in Parliament – out of a total of 300 – for PASOK, 91 for New Democracy, 21 for the Communist Party of Greece (7.54%), 15 for the Popular Orthodox Rally (5.63%), and 13 for the Radical Left Coalition (4.59%). Voter turnout totalled 70.91%.  “Our responsibility is to change the direction in which the country is going,” said PASOK leader and Prime-Minister elect George Papandreou in a brief statement during which he promised to “put smiles back on the faces of Greeks” and to “put the citizen at the heart” of his government’s actions.  Papandreou – a former foreign minister – received several congratulatory phone calls from world leaders including US President Barack Obama, who said he wanted to be amongst the first to congratulate the PASOK leader, along with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.   Apart from being a victory for PASOK and Papandreou, who will become the third member of his family to govern Greece, the result of yesterday’s election was a defeat for New Democracy, which saw its share of the popular vote decline from more than 45% 2004, when it was first elected to power under the leadership of Kostas Karamanlis, to 41,8% in 2007 and to just over 33% yesterday. Karamanlis announced that he would be stepping down as the president of New Democracy, a position he held since 1997.  Ministry of Interior: National Elections 2009 Kathimerini daily: Papandreou and PASOK sweep to victory; World Media Reports (Google): PASOK wins Greek election  Greek News Agenda: Special Issue: Parliamentary Election in Greece 2009