08:24 GMT18 February 2020
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    European Parliament Elections 2019 (33)
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    European Parliament elections are held this week from Thursday to Sunday across 28 EU member states. EU citizens are going to choose the composition of the 751-seat legislative body.

    The bulk of the voting will take place on 26 May, when the remaining EU nations will cast their votes.

    Currently, the European Parliament consists of 751 members, who are elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term. Each country sets the day of voting itself. The minimum age for a candidate to stand in the European elections varies from 18 to 25 years, depending on the country.

    Seats are allocated on the basis of population of each member state. At the same time, gender equality must be guaranteed, women should occupy a little more than one third of the seats in the parliament.

    READ MORE: May's Resignation Complicates Brexit Process Even More — Political Analyst

    All citizens of the European Union, regardless of their country of residence, can vote in the  European Parliament elections.

    The elections are held under a form of proportional representation. Each member state decides whether to use an open or closed lists system. If elections are held on open lists, voters may express a preference for one or more candidates on the list, closed list balloting allows political parties to set the order of candidates, and voters then choose a list of candidates.

    In Malta, a single transferable vote system is applied, which means that voters list candidates in order of preference.

    The last elections to the European Parliament were held from 22-25 May 2014 and became the largest transnational elections. The major European political parties nominated their candidates for president of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union.

    Because the United Kingdom officially notified Brussels about its withdrawal from the European Union, and it was expected that Brexit would occur at the end of March 2019, the European Parliament abolished 46 of the UK’s 73 European parliamentary seats. It was planned that the new parliament would include 705 representatives.

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    In April 2019, the EU and the United Kingdom agreed to postpone Brexit until 31 October 2019, in accordance with EU legislation, the United Kingdom must hold elections to the European Parliament.

    After the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the number of seats in European Parliament will be reduced from 751 to 705 — some of the seats will be redistributed among other member states, while the remainder of mandates will be annulled.

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    European Parliament Elections 2019 (33)


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