UPDATE

Roberta Metsola has officially been elected President of the European Parliament, becoming the youngest ever and the first Maltese citizen to take such a leading role within the EU. Click here for further coverage of her election.

EARLIER

Roberta Metsola is on the verge of making history by becoming the first Maltese European Parliament President.

The plenary to elect the new President began this morning. And while three candidates are still in the race, it is believed Dr Metsola’s victory is practically a foregone conclusion.

Dr Metsola has the backing not just of her own European People’s Party (EPP) parliamentary group, but also that of the rival Socialists and Democrats (S&D), who on Monday night announced it had reached a deal with the EPP to “ensure a stable working majority until 2024 elections”.

This morning, candidate Kosma Zlotowski withdrew his candidacy without explanation, leaving Dr Metsola, Swedish MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke and Spanish MEP Sira Rego as the remaining candidates.

Addressing the plenary, Dr Metsola said:

“Our president must bridge differences and hold the centre… I will not shy away from difficult decisions and will always – always – represent the views of this House.”

The 705 MEPs of the European Parliament will vote for their favoured candidate, in a first round of voting. 

Due to COVID-19, voting will take place electronically, through an anonymised system. MEPs have 45 minutes to cast their vote.  

If one candidate secures an absolute majority, then the election is over and a winner is declared.

Should she be elected president, Dr Metsola will become the first Maltese politician to become an EU president and the third woman to lead the European Parliament. 

Dr Metsola was first elected to the European Parliament in 2013. She is a member of the Nationalist Party, currently Malta’s Opposition Party and an affiliate of the EPP.

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