Graham Watson has pulled out of the running for presidency of the European Parliament. The British liberal says the assembly is more divided than ever, and that he dropped his bid in the interest of unity among its three biggest political groups.
This lines up the conservatives, socialists and Watson’s liberal supporters behind Poland’s Jerzsy Buzek, the European People’s Party’s candidate. Italian Mario Mauro withdrew his candidacy on Sunday. The new Parliament’s members will vote on who takes over from German conservative Hans Gert Poettering at their inaugural full session next week. The conservative and socialist blocs have an agreement to share the presidency for the next five years. If confirmed, Buzek would be the first MEP from one of the former communist EU states to hold the office.