Greek government candidate wins lawmakers' support to become president

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 18, 2015 2:00 PM

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras secured enough parliamentary votes on Wednesday for his nominee to become the country's next president.

The government candidate, former interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, won the necessary 180 votes from lawmakers to take the largely ceremonial post.

Tsipras, leader of the radical left-wing Syriza party, had chosen the conservative Pavlopoulos as a unity candidate. His election in the first round of voting was expected as the opposition New Democracy party had also declared its support for him.

Wednesday's election contrasted to the last presidential vote in December when former prime minister Antonis Samaras failed to win approval for his candidate. That defeat led to early parliamentary elections, as Greek law stipulates, which brought Tsipras to power last month.

Pavlopoulos will succeed 85-year-old Karolos Papoulias whose five-year term ends in March.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by David Stamp)