BRUSSELS. The president of the European Parliament elected remotely, by electronic vote. The advance of the Coronavirus and in particular the Omicron variant induces the community institution to write a new page of EU history. For the first time, the vote for the highest echelons of the only directly elected body will be held in a hybrid format, with part of the choices made in person in Strasbourg, and another remotely electronically. “Due to the pandemic, the vote will take place remotely”, inform the Eurocamera services, where they reassure themselves about the functionality of the procedure. «The system has already been tested», it is tried and tested and reliable. “From a legal and technical point of view there are no problems, and there will be no delays” in the voting procedures and in the communication of results.
This is one of the legacies of David Sassoli, the outgoing president who would have been replaced anyway. The Italian, who died a few days ago, had however announced that he would not run for re-election due to evident and proven lack of convergence on his name. But Sassoli is the one who, precisely because of the pandemic, has allowed the European Parliament to remain open and operational, developing the remote voting system used so far for legislative proposals, but never for the renewal of the institution’s top management.
Charles Michel: “David Sassoli, a true European: he dreamed of a Union close to the citizens”
The unprecedented voting procedure concerns Roberta Metsola (Ppe, Malta), Sira Rego (the Left, Spain), Alice Kuhnke (Verdi, Sweden) and Kosma Zlotowski (Ecr, Poland), the four official candidates for the highest seat of the Eurocamera. In the race, the Social Democrats (S&D) reserve the right to defeat the reserve at the last moment, with the group’s port making it clear that nothing is decided or taken for granted. “We are negotiating, but all options are open, including the decision to produce one of our candidates” at the last moment.
An absolute majority of valid votes is required for the election of the president. There are three rounds of secret ballot to try to reach this threshold. If after three rounds none of the candidates obtain this required 50% + 1, a fourth round is used where the two most voted candidates compete in a ballot where the simple majority counts.
Difficult to make predictions. Parliament, for the day of Tuesday 18 January, the day of the election of the new president, has a program only for the first round of votes. It starts at 9:00, with the declarations of the candidates. Then voting time from 9:30 to 10:15. The results of the first round, physical and remote telematic, are expected at 11.