Cts. Oca 18th, 2020

Greek premier nominates top judge for presidential post

– If elected by parliament, Katerina Sakellaropoulou will be first female president of Greece

By Magda Panoutsopoulou

ATHENS (AA) – Greece's prime minister announced Wednesday his nomination of one of the country's top judges, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, as its next president.

In a televised address on state-run channel TV ERT, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the next president would have to incorporate the nation's unity, as well as have a sense of duty, knowledge, prestige and international experience.

Despite the fact the office of the president is largely ceremonial, the choice had to reflect Greece's renewal, and be "a window opening to the future," said Mitsotakis.

He underlined that parliament deputies of the ruling party had fully approved the candidacy of Sakellaropoulou, who is the first woman to serve as head of the Council of State.

If her candidacy gets approved by the Greek Parliament, she will replace incumbent Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose term expires in March. She will also be the first female president in Greece’s history.

In order to be approved, Sakellaropoulou needs at least 180 votes from the 300-seated parliament.

The ruling New Democracy party has 158 lawmakers, and in order to elect a president, it needs the support of other parties.

The choice for the country's highest office "honors both justice and the modern Greek woman," Sakellaropoulou told the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency, thanking Mitsotakis for the candidacy.

"I accept the proposal and, if elected, will devote all my efforts to serving this high duty, as set out by the constitution," she said.

Sakellaropoulou was born in Thessaloniki and has served as president of the Association of the Council of State Judges in 1993-1995 and in 2000-2001, Secretary General in 1985-1986 and Vice President in 2006-2008.

She also served as a member of the Central Legislative Bill Drafting Commission in 1993-1995.

Sakellaropoulou was president of the Disciplinary Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013-2015. Since March 2015, she has been president of the Hellenic Society of Environmental Law, a scientific association.