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Former Belgian PM Verhofstadt Announces European Parliament Presidency Bid

© AP Photo / Yves LoggheAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt, addresses the media during a media conference called 'Russia after the elections - An evaluation of democracy and the rule of law in Putin's Russia' at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt, addresses the media during a media conference called 'Russia after the elections - An evaluation of democracy and the rule of law in Putin's Russia' at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - Sputnik International
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Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt stated that he is going to run for the president of the European Parliament.

The Council of the European Union - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the liberal alliance in the parliament and its lead Brexit negotiator, said Friday he would run for the president of the European Parliament.

"I am a candidate for the Presidency of the European Parliament. It is time for change, time for a broad coalition of all pro-European forces that will put the interests of the European citizens first," Verhofstadt wrote in his Facebook.

In November, Martin Schulz, current European Parliament's president, said he would not seek a third term as the head of the EU parliament and instead plans to lead the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) electoral list in the 2017 elections in western Germany.

VERHOFSTADT, Guy (ALDE, BE). Plenary session week 50 2016 in Strasbourg - Preparation of the European Council meeting of 15 December 2016. - Sputnik International
Verhofstadt Gathers International Support for EU Parliament Presidency Bid
On Thursday, a source from the European Parliament told RIA Novosti that Antonio Tajani, the chair of the parliament's European People's Party (EPP) center-right faction, had the best chances to win the position, but Verhofstadt and Gianni Pittella from the socialists and democrats faction were two other major contenders.

Members of parliament are set to vote for the next president on January 17.

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