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Greek PM proposes top female judge as next president

WH_Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis_211185.jpg
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday nominated top female judge Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou to become the country's next president.

[ATHENS] Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday nominated top female judge Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou to become the country's next president.

If approved by parliament, the 63-year-old head of the Council of State would become the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial post.

Her appointment is expected to be a formality as Mr Mitsotakis's conservative New Democracy party holds 158 seats in the 300-seat parliament.

The date of the parliamentary vote has not yet been set, but must take place before February 13 - one month before the end of the five-year term of current president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

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"The time has come for Greece to open up to the future," Mr Mitsotakis said in a televised address, emphasising that the selection breaks with tradition not only because Ms Sakellaropoulou is female, but also because she is not a member of a political party.

He said the choice "embodies unity and progress".

Ms Sakellaropoulou told the state news agency ANA that the nomination was "an honour".

She thanked the prime minister and said she was ready to "devote herself with all her might to this high duty".

AFP