Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras announced that his party will support the government's proposed candidate Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou for President of the Hellenic Republic, in a statement broadcast on Thursday.
Tsipras noted that this was a considered decision on SYRIZA's part, and not a choice driven by communications purposes.
He strongly criticised ruling New Democracy and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis over the timing of the announcement of the presidential candidate, however, noting that this coincided "with a heavy and negative political agenda for the government," in what appeared to be an attempt to shift the focus elsewhere.
Tsipras also said that Mitsotakis had for months denigrated the institution of the president, adding that it was a huge mistake to choose not to renew the term of a successful president, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, at a very crucial period for national issues.
"I will not do what Kyriakos Mitsotakis did in 2015, when he voted against the consensual selection of Pavlopoulos for President," Tsipras said, adding that "we will not add another mistake alongside Mr. Mitsotakis' many mistakes. We will adopt a responsible stance as we have proved that we always adopt in crucial decisions".
Tsipras said he will allow Sakellaropoulou to be elected with a broad parliamentary majority and to be, for the next five years, "the expression of the unity of our people and our democracy."
Concluding, the main opposition leader noted that Sakellaropoulou, who was made president of the Council of State under SYRIZA, "was among the top selections of the SYRIZA government and was the first female president of the Council of State," pointing out that Mitsotakis and ND had then voted against her candidacy.
KINAL says it will support Sakellaropoulou for Greek President
The Movement for Change (KINAL) on Thursday said it will vote for Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou for President of the Hellenic Republic.
The decision was reached unanimously during a joint meeting of the Political Council and the party's parliamentary group, based on the recommendation of KINAL leader Fofi Gennimata.