Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced in a televised message on Wednesday evening that his ruling New Democracy party will propose Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou as a candidate for the position of President of the Republic.
PM Mitsotakis announced the candidate following days of speculation and numerous scenarios being speculated on by pundits and others in the public sphere.
Sakellaropoulou, 64, was born in Thessaloniki. The Greek jurist has been serving as President of Greece’s Council of State since October 2018. She is the first female president in the history of the Greek Supreme Court.
A proposal ‘above parties’
PM Mitsotakis recently informed the current president, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, of his decision and thanked him for his contributions to the nation. Pavlopoulos’ term runs out in February.
In his address, Mitsotakis said “the decision I had to make was by no means easy,” as the person fulfilling the role has to “incorporate the nation’s unity, have a sense of duty, knowledge, prestige and international experience. Despite the fact the office of president is ceremonial, the choice had to reflect Greece’s renewal, and be a window opening to the future,” the premier noted.
Sakellaropoulou is noted for her “groundbreaking legislation for the right boundaries between protecting the environment and development, and she has served as president of the Hellenic Society for Environmental Law,” Mitsotakis stated.
The Greek premier also said that she is “known for her moderation, her sound judgment, and her interest in protecting individual rights, which is her specialty.”
The judge’s nomination “is a proposal of unity, above parties, progressive, and meets all conditions to be approved by the entire body of MPs,” the Greek PM noted.
Mitsotakis also expressed the hope that Sakellarakis would be supported by all parliamentary parties and that she would “inculcate the consensus that Greeks want very much.”
The choice for the country’s highest office “honors both justice and the modern Greek woman,” Sakellaropoulou told interviewers from the Athens – Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), thanking the Prime Minister for her candidacy.
“I accept the proposal and, if elected, I will devote all my efforts to serving this high duty, as set out by the constitution,” the judge said, adding that she will abstain from active legal duties as of now.