Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to announce on Tuesday at 4 p.m. to his parliamentary group the name of the man or woman he would like to succeed President Karolos Papoulias.
After the announcement of SYRIZA’s candidate, the first round of voting for the next president is due to take place on Wednesday evening at 7.30 p.m.
Tsipras had been expected to announce a candidate on Sunday but the procedure was called off at the last moment due to objections from within his party. The prime minister was thought to have identified European Commissioner for Migration, Citizenship and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos as his candidate, while Defense Minister Panos Kammenos proposed ex-Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
Sources said SYRIZA officials told Tsipras the only conservative candidates the party could accept are ex-Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, as he has been critical of the bailout agreements, and former Education Minister Marietta Giannakou.
Other names that have been linked with the post, but who are more aligned with the left, are author Ioanna Karystiani, filmmaker Costa-Gavras and former Finance Minister Manolis Drettakis, who left PASOK in 1984 and later joined Synaspismos Left Coalition, the precursor to SYRIZA.
“The will of the Greek people has to be completely satisfied and this will come if the president is from the left,” said SYRIZA veteran and MEP Manolis Glezos.
MPs from coalition partner Independent Greeks are due to meet shortly after SYRIZA’s parliamentary group convenes. It is not known whether they will support Tsipras’s preferred candidate, who will need 180 votes to be elected in the first round.