"According to Michele Nicoletti’s decision, and in agreement with the SOC Group, he will resign from his function of PACE President before the beginning of the June part-session, in order to allow the SOC candidate to the Presidency to be elected on the Monday of the June part-session. This aims to assure the continuity of the SOC Presidency for PACE," the SOC Group said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.
According to the group, the next candidate for the presidency will be appointed during the April part-session.
"During the next meeting of the Group within the upcoming April part-session, the Group will organize a vote in order to appoint its next candidate to the PACE Presidency," the statement said.
According to the document, Antonio Gutierrez Limones from Spain and current Chair of the SOC Group Liliane Maury Pasquier from Switzerland are viewed as candidates for PACE president.
Nicoletti was elected the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe only a few months ago — on January 22, 2018. His predecessor Pedro Agramunt has been impeached over accusations connected with his visit Syria aimed to personally investigate the situation on the ground and his advocacy for dialogue with Moscow.