President of Council of State Katerina Sakellaropoulou looks on as the President of the Greek Parliament presents the result of a parliament vote for the election of the new President of the Greek Republic, in Athens on January 22, 2020.
President of Council of State Katerina Sakellaropoulou looks on as the President of the Greek Parliament presents the result of a parliament vote for the election of the new President of the Greek Republic, in Athens on January 22, 2020.
Photo by ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU / POOL / AFP

Athens: Greece's parliament on Wednesday elected the first woman president in the country's history, a senior judge with an expertise in environmental and constitutional law.

A cross-party majority of 261 MPs voted in favour of 63-year-old Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, parliament chief Costas Tassoulas said.

"Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou has been elected president of the republic," Tassoulas said.

The new president, until now the head of Greece's top administrative court, the Council of State, will take her oath of office on March 13, he added.

The daughter of a Supreme Court judge, Sakellaropoulou completed postgraduate studies at Paris's Sorbonne university.

She was also the first woman to head the Council of State.

Although the president is nominally the head of the Greek state and commander-in-chief, the post is largely ceremonial. Greek presidents confirm governments and laws and technically have the power to declare war, but only in conjunction with the government.

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