Katerina Sakellaropoulou voted in by Greek parliament as Greece’s first female president

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Greece’s parliament elected former Council of State head Katerina Sakellaropoulou as the country’s next president on Wednesday, a largely ceremonial role that also brings with it limited political powers.

Sakellaropoulou, 63, won the support of 261 lawmakers in the 300-seated parliament. She was backed by lawmakers from ruling New Democracy, leftist SYRIZA opposition and the center-left Movement for Change alliance (KINAL). 

Speaking after being formally informed of the parliament vote, Sakellaropoulou said she would aim for the “broadest possible consensus” in the course of carrying out her duties.

In her first comments as president-elect, the judge noted the “difficult conditions and challenges of the 21st century, including the financial crisis, climate change, the mass movement of populations and the consequent humanitarian crisis, the erosion of the rule of law and all manner of inequalities and exclusions.”

Sakellaropoulou will serve 5 years starting on March 13, when incumbent president Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ term comes to an end.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who personally nominated Sakellaropoulou, called her an “outstanding” judge whose candidacy “unites all Greeks.”

Greek presidents confirm governments and laws and technically have the power to declare war, but only in conjunction with the government.

Greece has a historically low level of women in senior positions in politics. In the current Greek cabinet, all but one of the 18 senior positions are held by men. She will be Greece’s first female head of state.

Sourced by: AP News

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