Presidential candidate expected to be announced next week

The SYRIZA-led coalition will not nominate its candidate for president of the republic on Thursday, as had been expected, but will wait until next week, with the first round of voting on who will replace the current head of state, Karolos Papoulias, due to take place on February 13.

Sources told Kathimerini that the government will wait until after it has received a vote of confidence from Parliament to name its candidate. MPs are due to be sworn in on Friday and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will present his government’s policy program on Saturday. This will be followed by a two-day debate that will culminate in the confidence vote Monday.

Former Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is Greece’s representative at the European Commission, remains the favorite to be nominated by Tsipras. Kathimerini understands that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who met on Wednesday with Tsipras, has been informed that Avramopoulos, who is commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, may leave his post.

Other names that have been linked to the post of president include Paris-based film director Costa-Gavras and the former leader of Synaspismos left coalition, Nikos Constantopoulos.