Greece elected judge and human rights advocate Katerina Sakellaropoulou as the country’s first female president on Wednesday.
Sakellaropoulou had received a nomination from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the ruling conservative New Democracy party.
In a rare show of parliamentary unity, she also managed to secure the backing of the main opposition party Syriza and the center-left party Movement for Change.
But Sakellaropoulou has broken gender barriers before. She had already became the first woman to serve as the president of the Council of State, the top administrative court in Greece. She held the position for 15 months before being elected president.
In the vote on Wednesday, the 63-year-old received support of 261 MPs in the 300-seat parliament, far above the 200 required by the constitution.
Following the vote, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the result offers “a window to the future” and that Greece enters the new decade “with more optimism.”
Mitsotakis tweeted a video interview with local media in which he congratulated Sakellaropoulou on her new and historic position.
Mitsotakis’s decision to choose Sakellaropoulou was widely seen as a move to counter mounting criticism about the lack of women in his cabinet, where only a handful of women hold senior positions.
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