Katerina Sakellaropoulou nominated for top post as PM says ‘time has come for Greece to open up to the future’
Greece is poised to get its first female president after the country’s centre-right leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis took the unprecedented step of proposing a progressive female judge to assume the role of head of state.
In a move loaded with symbolism for a nation more used to the divisiveness of bipartisan politics, the prime minister nominated 62-year-old Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
“The time has come for Greece to open up to the future,” he said in an unexpected televised address, emphasising that the choice embodied unity and progress.
The news of a cosmopolitan jurist being catapulted to the head of the republic caught many off guard – not least in Mitsotakis’ own New Democracy party. Her views have often run counter to the establishment.
But less than 24 hours later, opposition parties, in a display of rare accord, also backed the proposal on Thursday. Former premier Alexis Tsipras, describing his decision as an “act of responsibility”, announced Syriza MPs will vote in favour in a parliamentary ballot on 22 January .
The centre-left Kinal likewise expressed support, giving Sakellaropoulou’s election the blessing of at least 266 deputies in the 300-seat parliament. The five–round vote requires an overwhelming majority of 200 to pass initially.