Parliament to elect Greece's first woman president

Baku, January 22, AZERTAC 

A trailblazing judge with particular expertise in environmental law and the constitution will become Greece's first female president on Wednesday, according to AFP.

The candidacy of Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou has already won cross-party support and been welcomed by some commentators as a consensus candidate during a difficult time for Greek foreign policy.

"The time has come for Greece to open up to the future," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said earlier this month, as he submitted Sakellaropoulou's name for Wednesday's parliamentary vote. A four-decade justice veteran, 63-year-old Sakellaropoulou has since 2018 headed Greece's top administrative court, the Council of State, where she was again the first woman to occupy the post. The daughter of a Supreme Court judge, Sakellaropoulou completed postgraduate studies at Paris's Sorbonne university and is an expert in constitutional and environmental law. She will take over from Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose five-year term ends in March.

Greek presidents are exclusively selected by parliament. Sakellaropoulou is on track to secure over 260 votes on Wednesday, more than enough for the minimum 200 votes required, thanks to support from the main opposition parties. The first women won the right to vote in Greece in 1934, even if it was initially limited to educated women aged 30 and over. The first female MP, Eleni Skoura, was elected in 1953. Lina Tsaldari in 1956 became the first female minister, and Anna Psarouda Benaki the first female head of parliament in 2004.

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