Opposition parties react to PM’s presidential nominee

Opposition parties react to PM’s presidential nominee

Greek opposition parties had mixed reactions to the announcement of Katerina Sakellaropoulou, a top judge, as a nominee for the position of the President of the Republic, with their lawmakers expected to meet on Thursday or in the coming days to decide on their official party position.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis nominated Sakellaropoulou, the head of the Council of State, for the post, in a televised address on state-run broadcaster ERT on Wednesday evening. If her candidacy is approved by Parliament, she will be the first female president in Greece’s history and will replace incumbent Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose term expires in March.

Shortly after the announcement, sources from main opposition SYRIZA accused the premier of “cheapening” the institution of the presidency by using it as PR stunt to divert attention from “the fiasco on Libya and migration.”

The sources were referring to a decision by Germany to snub Greece’s request to participate in Sunday’s mini summit on Libya in Berlin where involved stakeholders will attempt to find a path to peace, and a government decision to reinstate the ministry of migration which was scrapped by New Democracy when it came to power this year.

SYRIZA said party bodies will meet and leader Alexis Tsipras will announce the official position. Kathimerini understands that top party members have conflicting views on Sakellaropoulou’s nomination.

Centre-left Movement for Change’s political council and parliamentary group will convene on Thursday, at 3 p.m. at the party's offices to discuss the candidate. No statement has been released since the nomination, but considering that Sakellaropoulou comes from the center-left of the political spectrum, it is likely that KINAL will green-light the candidacy.

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) predictably rejected the nomination, which is a stance held in previous votes.

The far-right Greek Solution accused the government of choosing the head of the top administrative court because it is afraid of the Left’s reaction to a different candidate, but has not yet clearly stated how it would vote.

Finally, MeRA25’s political secretariat, of former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 5.30 p.m.