The head of Greece’s top administrative court, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, was elected the new head of state after a historic parliamentary vote on Wednesday.
Sakellaropoulou, 63, won the support of 261 lawmakers in the 300-seated parliament.
She was backed by lawmakers from ruling New Democracy, leftist SYRIZA opposition and the centre-left Movement for Change alliance (KINAL).
In separate letters to House Speaker Kostas Tasoulas, Samaras, Alexiadis and Syrmalenios said they would have voted for Sakellaropoulou if they had been present.
Sakellaropoulou will serve 5 years starting on March 13, when incumbent president Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ term comes to an end.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis suggested Sakellaropoulou, a well-known progressive judge, for the post which she is expected to hold for the next five years.
The move was backed by Mitsotakis’ conservative New Democracy party, but also by the opposition Syriza party led by former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who praised Sakellaropoulou as an “exceptional judge” and a defender of human rights.
The- Thessaloniki born Sakellaropoulou is the daughter of a Supreme Court judge. She studied law in Athens and completed her post-graduate studies at Sorbonne in Paris.
(With inputs from agency)