Greece's once-powerful Socialists to form centrist alliance

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's once-dominant Socialist party is electing its next leaders as it works to expand co-operation with centrist politicians and recover the public support it lost during the country's catastrophic financial crisis.

Nine candidates are hoping to be elected leader of a new alliance between the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement, or PASOK, and centrist party Potami. The current leaders of both parties are running for the post.

The candidates wound up their campaign appearances on Friday. A runoff likely will be needed after a primary-style vote on Sunday.

Founded by late Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, PASOK won a landslide election victory in 2009 under his son, George Papandreou. Greece slid into a major economic crisis weeks later.

Most Socialist supporters shifted to the left-wing Syriza party, headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

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