Katerina Sakellaropoulou: first-elect female President of the Hellenic Republic

International Alliance of Women congratulates Katerina Sakellaropoulou, a high court judge, a human rights advocate and an expert in environmental and constitutional law for being the first-elect female President of Greece. The current Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, nominated her for this position. She has been strongly approved by the MPs of the Hellenic Parliament. 261 out of 300 MPs voted for her from the first round as she was backed by the ruling conservative New Democracy party as well as by the main opposition party Syriza and the center-left Movement for Change. She got therefore more than the 200 needed votes to be elected. On 13th of March, she will take the oath of the office and will take up a five-year term.

Since Greece declared its independence in 1821 no woman has been elected as the Head of State.

Her nomination was supported by the EU Commission Chief, Ursula von der Leyen, who wrote in a tweet that Greece is “moving ahead into a new era of equality”.

In October 2018 she was elevated to the helm of the highest court of Greece after being nominated by the leftist administration in power at that time.

She is considered as a political outsider, due to the fact that she doesn’t belong to any party. She has liberal views and has a particular interest in environmental protection. She supported to remove the religious affiliation from the Greek ID card in Greece, when the influence of the Orthodox Church and of the Conservatives were strong. She has also been in favor for giving citizenship to migrant children.

Greece is one of the EU countries having the least women in senior positions in politics. Only five women have cabinet position in the current government of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. She will become a role model to the younger generations and her election will bring a positive change on gender equality matters in Greece.