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Greek Socialists Re-Elect Papandreou as Party Chief


George Papandreou was re-elected as head of of the Greece's Socialist party Sunday even after failing to lead his party to victory in September's parliamentary election.

Early vote-counting gives Papandreou a 60 percent to 34 percent lead over his closest rival, Evangelos Venizelos, who has already conceded defeat.

Papandreou called his re-election as party chief a celebration of democracy and one that unifies all party members.

The American-born Papandreou is a former Greek foreign minister. He is known for his desires for better relations with Turkey and to make Greece a strong player on the world stage.

He won Sunday despite his opposition Socialist party's failure to win a majority in the September parliamentary election over the more conservative New Democracy Party and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Mr. Karamanlis was re-elected despite an opposition accusation that he showed weakness during last summer's devastating Greek wildfires.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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