The European Parliament elects a new president
The European Parliament elects a new president on Tuesday, with Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola the clear favourite.
If elected president, Metsola will become the first Maltese politician to become EU president and the third woman to lead the European Parliament.
Follow the events with our live blog.
Alice Kuhnke: “Let’s practice what we preach”
9:09 Swedish MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke introduces herself to the plenary.
“As president, I will work tirelessly for a European Parliament where diversity is an asset,” she says, also calling for a greener parliament that practices what it preaches.
And then there were three…
9:05 One of the four candidates – Kosma Zlotowski – withdrew his candidacy. No reason was given.
That means there are only three candidates left – and all three are women.
A birthday present
9 am It’s a special day for Metsola in more ways than you might think: apart from being the biggest day of his political career so far, it’s also his 43rd birthday.
How does voting work?
8:57 MEPs will vote for their preferred candidate in a first ballot.
Due to COVID-19, voting will take place electronically, through an anonymized system. Members have 45 minutes to vote.
If a candidate obtains an absolute majority, the election is over and a winner is declared.
If no absolute majority is obtained, the lowest ranked candidate is discarded and the deputies vote a second time. If there is still no winner by absolute majority, the last candidate is eliminated and we go to a third round. etc
There are 705 MEPs in the European Parliament, which means a candidate needs 353 votes to win.
Abela and Grech in Strasbourg
8:51 Robert Abela and Bernard Grech are both in Strasbourg and met Metsola on Monday evening. They both hope to enjoy the glow of his (alleged) victory.
Here is what the two political leaders told us on the eve of the election.
What’s in it for the S&D?
8:48 The S&D said on Monday evening that it had “reached a deal” with the EPP and Renew Europe: which effectively means its MEPs will support Metsola in the election.
But what will they get in return?
According to Politics, the S&D has been promised five of the EP’s 14 vice-presidencies and the head of the Conference of Committee Chairs – a post usually held by an EPP MP.
Who are the other candidates?
8:31 a.m. Metsola is the clear favourite. But it does not run unchallenged.
Swedish MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke stands as Greens candidate; Spanish MEP Sira Rego represents the left; and Polish MEP Kosma Zlotowski is standing as the candidate of European conservatives and reformists.
But while anything can happen in an election, EU insiders say Metsola’s victory is virtually inevitable at this stage, even the S&D group has pledged its support.
What to expect?
8:27 am Hello and welcome to our live blog.
Things will start at 9 a.m., when each of the four candidates will deliver a five-minute speech to their colleagues in plenary in Strasbourg, outlining their vision for parliament.
It’s their last chance to convince MEPs to vote for them – although in reality most of the votes have already been blocked, following behind-the-scenes deals.
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