European Socialists have decided not to present a candidate for the presidency of the European Parliament next month, potentially opening the door to the election of Maltese MP Roberta Metsola, according to unconfirmed international media.
The post is currently held by Socialist David Sassoli, who will not stand for re-election.
“I don’t want to divide the pro-European front,” Sassoli said according to Huffingtonpost Italia.
Spain’s Eldiario said the Socialists would likely back Metsola if an agreement was reached on legislative priorities and the distribution of institutional posts, such as the appointment of vice-presidents.
The decision means a return to an agreement between the European Socialists and the People’s Party, of which Metsola is a part, for the alternation of the presidency.
Metsola was elected the EPP presidential candidate on 24 November, comfortably beating two other nomination contestants, Austria’s Othmar Karas and Dutch Esther de Lange.
If she wins the European Parliament elections on January 17, Metsola will be the most senior politician in Maltese history and the first woman to be elected President of the European Parliament for more than 20 years.
She has already made history by being elected First Vice-President of the European Parliament, the highest post ever held by a Maltese.
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