ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A conservative former interior minister, on whose watch authorities failed to contain Greece's worst riots in decades, has been named as the government-backed candidate for the ceremonial position of Greek president.
Prokopis Pavlopoulos, a 64-year-old law professor, was nominated Tuesday by the new radical left-led government. His candidacy must be approved by Parliament. Lawmakers will have three tries -- starting Wednesday -- at electing him for a five-year term.
If the first two prove inconclusive, the president can be elected by a simple majority.
Incumbent Karolos Papoulias' second term in office expires next month.
Pavlopoulos was responsible for public order in December 2008, when the fatal police shooting of a teenager sparked weeks of rioting in Athens and other cities. He was broadly criticized for failing to quickly restore order.