Greece has a historically low number of women in senior positions in politics. In the current Greek Cabinet, all but one of the 18 senior positions are held by men.
Top judge Katerina Sakellaropoulou became Greece's first woman president on Wednesday when lawmakers elected her head of state in a rare display of unity.
Speaking after being formally informed of the parliament vote, Sakellaropoulou said she would aim for the “broadest possible consensus” in the course of carrying out her duties.
Sakellaropoulou, 64, has been president of the Council of State, Greece's top administrative court. She will succeed Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose five-year term expires in March.
Greece has a historically low number of women in senior positions in politics, and Mitsotakis had been criticised for selecting a nearly all-male Cabinet after he won general elections in July 2019. In the current Greek Cabinet, all but one of the 18 senior positions are held by men.
In an unusual demonstration of harmony in the fractious world of Greek politics, the conservative party nominee was backed by opposition parties, including the leftist Syriza party which lost power in an election last July.
She was backed by 261 MPs in the 300-member parliament.
Sakellaropoulou, from the northern city of Thessaloniki, became the first female head of the Council of State in 2018, supported for that position by the then leftist government.
A divorcee who lives in central Athens and is active on social media, Sakellaropoulou has written numerous papers on environmental protection and chairs a society on environmental law. She is also an avid cat-lover.
For decades, failure by parliament to elect a president in Greece could lead to a snap election. Following a recent reform, the process to select a president can go up to five voting rounds in parliament with the threshold starting at 200 votes and gradually falling to the majority of those present in the room.