11:57 GMT +318 October 2019
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    European Parliament members attend a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

    Four Candidates Running for European Parliament President in Wednesday Election

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – Four politicians are running for the position of the European Parliament president in the upcoming Wednesday election, the legislative body said in a statement.

    “Four candidates are standing to become Parliament President in tomorrow’s election, scheduled to start at 09.00 [07:00 GMT]”, the European Parliament said on Tuesday.

    The list of the candidates includes Ska Keller (the European Free Alliance, Germany), Sira Rego (the European United Left/Nordic Green Left, Spain), David-Maria Sassoli (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Italy) and Jan Zahradil (Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe, the Czech Republic).

    “Electing its President is the first act of the newly-constituted Parliament. The outgoing President Antonio Tajani will preside over the proceedings, assisted by eight tellers selected by lot on Tuesday at the opening of the session”, the statement noted.

    The reshuffles in key EU bodies take place following the European Parliament elections, which were held on 23-26 May.

    Outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk said Tuesday he was content with the four candidates for the EU top jobs, calling it a perfect gender balance.

    "We have chosen two women and two men for the four key positions: a perfect gender balance. I’m really happy about it. After all, Europe is a woman", he told reporters.

    EU leaders broke the stalemate to elect Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as president of the European Council. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was proposed for president of the European Commission, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell was nominated for EU foreign policy chief, while IMF chief Christine Lagarde was proposed to head the European Central Bank.

    If confirmed by the European Parliament, Von der Leyen and Lagarde will be the first women to lead their respective institutions.

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