A woman takes over the presidency in Greece for the first time. A bipartisan majority of 261 deputies elected the lawyer Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou to the head of the state, according to the parliamentary presidency. At least 200 of the total of 300 votes were required, 33 members abstained. Sakellaropoulou succeeds the conservative Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose five-year term ends in March. There was no opposing candidate.
Sakellaropoulou has been the judge and president of the highest Greek administrative court - also the first woman. The Greek head of state has purely representative functions, but the election of Sakellaropoulou as president is of great symbolic value.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis proposed Sakellaropoulou as a candidate in January. "Democracy is female. The time has come to elect a woman to the highest office of the state for the first time," he had justified his proposal. The judge was nominated jointly by the conservative governing party Nea Dimokratia, the left-wing opposition party Syriza and the social democratic party.