Strasbourg 24.11.2021 The European Parliament’s largest group the EPP on Wednesday, Nov.24, nominated Maltese MEP Robert Metsola as their candidate to lead the House.
The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) chose Metsola during a Wednesday night vote, putting her in a prime position to potentially replace incumbent President – Italian Socialist David Sassoli, when his term expires in January.
Metsola received 112 votes in the first round of the group’s internal election, while her competitors received much less: Dutch MEP Ester de Lange got 44 votes while 18 voted for Austrian MEP Othmar Karas, according to the EPP officials.
“I’m truly honored to have been given a strong mandate by the EPP group to be our family’s candidate for president of the European Parliament,” Metsola told reporters at a press conference alongside EPP leader Manfred Weber.
If elected, Metsola would be the first Maltese official to win one of the EU’s top jobs. But her victory on Wednesday only begins a campaign that promises to be heated.
Metsola is said to have the backing of political groups beyond the EPP, but she may still have to compete for the leadership post against Sassoli and a few other candidates from the Greens and European Conservatives and Reformists.