The Greek Parliament on Wednesday elected 63-year-old Ekatereni Sakellaropoulou as the first woman President of the nation. She is considered to be an expert on constitutional and environmental laws.
261 out of the 294 members voted in favour of her candidature, across party lines.
The new President, who was until now the head of Greece’s top administrative court, the Council of State, will take the oath of office on March 13. She will take over from Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose five year term ends in March.
This isn’t the first time that Ekatereni has scored a win. She was also the first woman to head the Council of States in Greece.
She graduated from Sorbonne University in Paris.
However, just like India, the office of the President is largely ceremonial and even though all treaties, laws and the power to declare wars wrests with the President of the Republic, these powers are exercised in accordance with the aid and advice tendered by the Ministers.
Her election is also unique, in the sense that this is the first time in modern Greek history that a woman and an apolitical member has been elected.
The President will have numerous challenges before her. The Greek economy is struggling to stay afloat and on the foreign policy front, the nation has disputes with Turkey over energy exploration projects.