With a record number of votes (235) SYRIZA MP Zoe Konstantopoulou was elected Greece’s Parliament Speaker. Konstantopoulou is the second woman to be elected for this office and with 38 years old the youngest Parliament Speaker in the Greek Parliament. She is a human rights lawyer and a member of the Greek Parliament since 2012.
In the secret voting that took place Friday morning, in favor of Konstantopoulou voted SYRIZA, Independent Greeks, Nea Dimokratia, PASOK and Potami. Apparently KKE and Golden Dawn voted “blank”.
In a total of 298 MPs present, she received 235 votes in favor, 61 “blank” and 2 “invalid”. However it looks as if not all the MPs from the above mentioned parties voted in favor otherwise she would have recived 268 votes.
With Zoi Konstantopoulou presiding Parliamentary plenary sessions, things are going to look tough for some Greek lawmakers (from GD) who have been creating turmoil with their shouts and insults, but also for those who have been permanently trying to put political scandals under the carpet.
The dynamic lawyer and politician is notorious for not hesitating to break eggs with a hammer when it comes to push into depth investigations of political scandals.
In her inauguration speech, Zoi Konstanstopoulou vowed among others:
“The parliament can not function as laundry machine of scandals and graveyard of criminal proceedings.”
“To retract and investigate cases that have been forwarded to the Parliament but are covered with spiderwebs for months or years in the drawers without even taking into considerations, that’s not only an elementary and fundamental civic duty, but also a precondition for social cohesion.
The Parliament has to guarantee the legitimacy, transparency and investigation of all pending cases whether the persons to be investigated are political, parliamentary and governmental, whether they are representatives of economic interests and corrupting companies like the cases of Siemens and the armament.”
The sentence “The Parliament cannot function as a laundering machine for political scandas and a graveyard of criminal cases against politicians” earned her a big applause in the Parliament and great approval by Greek internet users.
She also stressed that she would not hesitate to clash even with her own party if it would seek to legislate in a way that is not permitted for the parliamentary order or it contradicts “what we defend today.”
She is expected to hinder such scenes procedures like the one that occurred during the voting of the when Voting at the Justice Committee of the Greek Parliament, on 12.9.2013, without the required number of participating MPs.
Video: English subtitles
During the previous Parliament period 2012-2014, Konstantopoulou often clashed with other members of the Justice Committee of the Parliament to which she was a member.
She was targeted and verbally attacked by her political opponents but also by parts of mainstream print and electronic media, in her role as rapporteur in the preliminary examination committee for the infamous Lagarde List her role in drafting “Black Book of Shame” containing cases of what SYRIZA considered as scandals.
Gossip television magazines and websites never stopped criticizing for her style.
Her clashes with Nea Dimokratia MPs Markogiannakis and Georgiadis while investigating the Lagarde List are famous.
She is the daughter of Nikos Konstantopoulos, former president of the left-wing Synaspismos, one of SYRIZA’s components.
More of her inauguration speech here
Zoe Konstantopoulou CV here in Greek