The Malta Independent 19 May 2022, Thursday

Roberta Metsola elected as European Parliament President with overwhelming majority

Kevin Schembri Orland & Albert Galea Tuesday, 18 January 2022, 06:45 Last update: about 5 months ago

PN MEP Roberta Metsola has become the first Maltese person to hold the post of European Parliament President after achieving an overwhelming majority in an election held between MEPs in Strasbourg on Monday.

She achieved a total of 458 votes from 616 valid votes - far above the absolutely majority of 309 which was required.  It is the equivalent of 74.3% of the votes cast. She becomes the youngest ever EU Parliament President.

Alice Bah Kuhnke (from the Greens/EFA) received 101 votes, while Sira Rego (from The Left) received 57 votes. 

Kosma Zlotowski (from the ECR) withdrew his candidacy at the last minute.

The news was greeted with raptorous applause, as MEPs gave Metsola a standing ovation - and some even sang her Happy Birthday, with today being her birthday - as she took the President's chair in the Parliament.

Metsola was elected to the European Parliament in 2013 and has been there ever since. She became the first Vice-President of the European Parliament to come from Malta in November 2020. She comes from the EU Parliament’s largest political group, the European People’s Party.

Metsola, in her role as First Vice President, had taken over the duties of the President of the European Parliament earlier this month after David Sassoli, who was the sitting President, tragically passed away in Italy while in hospital.

Now that she is elected, she is the first Maltese to hold such a high post. The last female EU Parliament President was back in 2002. Only two other women have held the post in the past, out of the 29 former Presidents of this institution.

The President is elected by an absolute majority of valid votes, cast by secret vote, i.e. 50% plus one. Due to the pandemic, the vote was held remotely. She achieved that majority.

The duties of the President include that she will direct all the activities of Parliament and its bodies in accordance with rules and shall enjoy all powers that are necessary to preside over the proceedings of Parliament and to ensure that they are properly conducted. In addition, the duties of the President shall also be to open, suspend and close sittings; to rule on the admissibility of amendments and other texts put to the vote, as well as on the admissibility of parliamentary questions; to ensure observance of these Rules; to maintain order; to call upon speakers; to close debates; to put matters to the vote and to announce the results of votes; as well as to refer to committees any communications that concern them.

Parliament shall be represented in international relations, on ceremonial occasions and in administrative, legal and financial matters by the President, who may delegate these powers.

The President is also responsible for the security and the inviolability of the premises of the European Parliament.

 

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