The newly-elected European Parliament is set to decide on who will lead the Chamber during the next legislature. During the first round, David-Maria Sassoli, an Italian member of the Socialists & Democrats bloc at the European Parliament, fell even votes short of an absolute majority.
In a vote among legislators, Sassoli received 325 votes, 7 shy of an absolute majority. Conservative Jan Zahradil, an ex-Spitzenkadidat of the ECR from the Czech Republic, got 162 votes, Surprisingly, Germany’s Greens leader Ska Keller received 133 MEPs votes, and the Spanish left-wing candidate Sira Rego came in fourth with just 42 votes.
All four will face off in a second round on Wednesday where Sassoli is expected to champion the Chamber’s vote. The Italian president is not part of the package that the European Council agreed to after marathon sessions in Brussels, but he is an alternative candidate of the Socialist group who was prestented after a fiery meeting on Tuesday night in Strasbourg.
On Tuesday, the EU’s leaders were in favour of the Bulgarian Party of the European Socialists (PES) leader to lead the Chamber. However, Stanishev ended up not even being a candidate, as a large bloc of the group refused to back plans by the leaders that initially considered the Socialist Spitzenkandidat, Frans Timmermans to lead the European Commission.