European Parliament Elects Italian Socialist as its President

The European Parliament has elected Italian socialist MEP David Sassoli as its new president.

Mr Sassoli, an MEP from the Democratic Party, replaces outgoing conservative president Antonio Tajani in the EU legislature’s top role.

A former journalist, the centre-left candidate won 345 votes in the second round of voting, ahead of right-winger Jan Zahradil who won 160 votes and Green Ska Keller who netted 119.

Leaders on the European Council had recommended a socialist be given the role of European Parliament president as part of the jobs package they cooked up at a three-day summit at beginning of the week. Europe’s centre-left lost out on the Commission presidency, under the plan.

Mr Sassoli will hold the post for two and a half years, and under an agreement struck with the parliament’s centre-right EPP group will hand the presidency to them after that.