The European Parliament (EP) has elected Social Democrat David-Maria Sassoli as its President for the next two and a half years. Othmar Karas was also voted Vice President.
The Italian reached the absolute majority in the second round of voting on Wednesday, said former European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who led the meeting in Strasbourg. Sassoli prevailed with 345 votes against the leading candidate of the Greens, Ska Keller (119 votes), the Spanish left Sira Rego (43) and the Czech Conservatives Jan Zahradil (EKR, 160).
The European People’s Party (EPP) had not sent a candidate into the race, according to the practices in Parliament, since it wants to leave the post for the first half of the legislature of the Socialist Group. Even the liberal faction “Renew Europe”, with 108 members the third strongest group, did not appoint its own candidate.
The second ballot was attended by 704 MPs, 37 of which were invalid.
McGuinness is the vice-president of the EU Parliament
European MEP Mairead McGuinness, who is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), was re-elected as the first vice-president of the European Parliament on Wednesday. McGuinness received 618 votes. In total, eleven of the 14 vice-presidents were appointed in the first ballot, including 477 votes OVP-EU delegation leader Othmar Karas.
Karas, who served as one of the vice-presidents of the European Parliament from 2012 to 2014, promised after the announcement of the outcome that he would work “to ensure that the European Parliament is on board for every decision taken at European level.” The longtime EU mandatary expressed his gratitude in a statement for the trust placed in him and emphasized that he was aware of the responsibility. “For me, the great approval is a confirmation, for my successful, cross-party work and cooperation, for the built-up trust, for my way of dealing with responsibility and approaching people and for my announced priorities,” said Karas.