Greece Elects First Female President Katerina Sakellaropoulou

 Greece’s lawmakers elected their country’s first female president Wednesday, with an overwhelming majority voting in favor of high court judge Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

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.”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis nominated Sakellaropoulou as a non-partisan candidate who would enjoy broad support from across the political spectrum.

All major parties voted in favor of the nomination, with Sakellaropoulou being elected to the largely ceremonial post in a 261-33 vote, well above the 200 votes required. Six lawmakers were absent.

Greece has a historically low number of women in senior positions in politics, and Mitsotakis had been criticized for selecting a nearly all-male Cabinet after he won general elections in July 2019. In the current Greek Cabinet, all but one of the 18 senior positions are held by men.

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