Tasoulas elected Parliament Speaker with broad, five-party backing
Veteran New Democracy MP (representing the district of Ioannina) Konstantinos Tasoulas has been elected Parliament Speaker with an unprecedented 283 votes in the 300-seat legislature.
Tasoulas was supported by five of the legislature's six parties (New Democracy, SYRIZA, Movement for Change, Elliniki Lysi, and MeRa 25).
Only MPs of the KKE Greek Communist Party declared themselves "present" during the vote.
"The Greek people must understand from our behaviour that the national legislature, the system of representative parliamentary democracy, can express them, and make them feel proud of it with improvements and self-criticism. This is a difficult task, indeed colossal, but it is not Sisyphean as we will not lose. It is worthwhile for the six parties in Parliament to work together so that we may attempt this. One must upgrade the symbolic value of the Parliament in the eyes of the Greek people, as it has suffered terrible blows, particularly over the last 10 years," Tasoulas said at today's handover ceremony with outgoing Speaker Nikos Voutsis.
The new Speaker's background
Tasoulas was a protégé of the late Evangelos Averoff (whose private secretary he was from 1981-1989), a broadly respected patrician in the ranks of Greek conservatism who was a close associate of the late PM and President Constantine Karamanlis at least since the 1950's.
Tasoulas has been elected MP in seven general elections before this month's: 2000, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012 (twice), and in 2015.
A lawyer by training, Tasoulas served as Culture and Athletics Minister in the New Democracy government of Antonis Samaras.
Previously Tasoulas was active in politics in the posh northern Athens suburb of Kifisia, serving as mayor from...