Greece Elects Its First Female President: Katerina Sakellaropoulou
Katerina Sakellaropoulou has been elected as the first female president of Greece by the country’s parliament. On January 16, 2020, the opposition party had approved the government’s nomination of Sakellaropoulou, who is the country’s top administrative judge, making her a frontrunner for the post. A day prior to that the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the 63-years-old’s candidacy in a surprise televised address.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, “The time has come for Greece to open up to the future.” He emphasized that Sakellaropoulou’s candidacy will break tradition, as she is not only a woman but she is also not a member of any political party of Greece. He further added that his choice embodied unity and progress.
Daughter of a supreme court judge, Sakellaropoulou is the head of the council of the state since 2018. She is the first woman to occupy that post. The 63-years-old also became the first woman to helm Greece’s highest court in October 2018.
- Alexis Tsipras, the country’s main opposition leftist leader said Katerina was an “exceptional judge” and a defender of human rights.
- He also described the Prime Minister’s decision to nominate her as an ‘act of responsibility’.
- Katerina Sakellaropoulou is known to have spoken up against issues such as discrimination and climate change.
- Esther Muinjangue, Visipi Balaporia and Sanna Marin were some of the other women to make history in the global political scenario last year.
Opposition Supported The Prime Minister’s Decision
As per the reports of Aljazeera, Alexis Tsipras, the country’s main opposition leftist leader said that Katerina was an “exceptional judge” and a defender of human rights. He also described the Prime Minister’s decision to nominate her as an ‘Act of Responsibility.’ The socialist KINAL party had also supported Sakellaropoulou’s nomination.
Katerina will replace current president, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose five-year term is will come to an end in the month of March. In the parliamentary voting on Wednesday, Katerina earned 261 votes, way more than the required 200 voted for her election, indicating that she was a unanimous choice.
About Katerina Sakellaropoulou
Daughter of a supreme court judge, Sakellaropoulou is the head of the council of the state since 2018. She is the first woman to occupy that post. The 63-years-old also became the first woman to helm Greece’s highest court in October 2018. The French-educated judge regularly publishes in academic journals. She is among the many contributors of the book “Financial crisis and environmental protection on the case-law of the Council of State.”
Alexis Tsipras, the country’s main opposition leftist leader, had called the Greek Prime Minister’s decision to nominate Katerina Sakellaropoulou an ‘act of responsibility’.
Know to be vocal about issues such as discrimination and climate change, Sakellaropoulou studies law in Athens. Although, she then moved to Paris to complete her post-graduation. Katerina curently live with her partner Pavlos Kotsonis, who is a lawyer by proffession.
Women Leaders who broke the glass ceiling
Esther Muinjangue created history in November last year, by becoming Namibia’s first female presidential candidate. Esther who is a social worker spoke about women empowerment and gay rights during her campaign. However, she wasn’t successful in defeating President Hage Geingob, who managed to secure a second term for himself and his party. Close home, Visipi Balaporia became the first woman president of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai last year. Her election was a major step in the society’s 215 years old history. Finland’s Sanna Marin also created history by becoming the world’s youngest Prime Minister, when she got elected to the post in December last year.
Image credit: NBC
Mansi is an Intern at SheThePeople.TV