Papandreou claims election victory in Greece

Georgios Papandreou (Γιώργος Παπανδρέου) is the Prime Minister of Greece following his party’s victory in the 2009 legislative election.

Georgios Papandreou

Georgios Papandreou

Papandreou has been leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party since February 2004.

The son and grandson of former Greek prime ministers, he twice served as Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs (1988-1989 and 1994-1996) and was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2004. In 2006 he became President of the Socialist International.

The former prime minister, Costas Karamanlis of the New Democracy party, had resigned is position after the results were announced, and congratulated PASOK’s leader George Papandreou.

PASOK had over 43% of the ballot, compared to the conservative New Democracy’s 35%, with almost all of the votes counted. The socialists now have a 159-seat majority in the 300-seat parliament. New Democracy is projected to have won around 94 seats.

“We stand here united before the great responsibility which we undertake,” Papandreou told a crowd of supporters in Athens. His party had waged “a good fight to bring back hope and smile on Greeks’ faces […] to change the country’s course into one of law, justice, solidarity, green development and progress,” he said.

In order to win an absolute majority in the parliament, PASOK needs to control at least 43% of the seats.

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