Law professor and New Democracy member Prokopis Pavlopoulos was elected as Greece’s seventh president on Wednesday after receiving support from 233 of the 300 lawmakers in Parliament.
Pavlopoulos’s candidacy, which needed a minimum of 180 votes in favor, was supported by SYRIZA, Independent Greeks and New Democracy. However, two MPs from SYRIZA and ND abstained from the vote in disagreement over the choice of candidate.
From the conservatives, former Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis failed to back Pavlopoulos, while SYRIZA’s Thessaloniki MP Ioanna Gaitani also voiced her opposition to the ex-Interior Minister becoming president.
“I respect Prokopis Pavlopoulos as a professor and teacher,” said Mitsotakis. “He is an excellent legal expert with deep academic knowledge. But I have not been convinced… that he is the most appropriate president of the republic.”
“For reasons of conscience and political tradition, I could not support SYRIZA’s choice,” said Gaitani.
However, the negative reaction in SYRIZA went a bit deeper. Another two MPs, Alexis Mitropoulos and Dimitris Kodelas, voted for Pavlopoulos but expressed their disagreement with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s choice publicly. Leftist MEP Manolis Glezos also voiced his disagreement.
To Potami put forward another constitutional expert, Nikos Alivizatos, as the party’s candidate. He was also backed by PASOK and picked up a total of 30 votes. All 32 MPs from Golden Dawn and the Greek Communist Party (KKE) voted present.