Socialist group leader bids for European Parliament presidency

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By Euronews
Socialist group leader bids for European Parliament presidency

The leader of the European Parliament’s socialist group (S&D) Gianni Pittella has thrown his hat into the ring to become the institution’s next president.

There could be an end to the parliament’s right-left grand coalition.

“The three presidencies of the three top European institutions cannot belong to the People’s Party,” explained Pittella.

“And one of the three presidencies must belong to the Socialists. On that basis, we will verify the convergences, and we will cooperate with the one (the party) who agrees with us.”

The leader of the European People’s Party would not comment when approached by Euronews on Wednesday.

Pittella’s announcement comes a week after incumbent parliament president, Social Democrat Martin Schulz, said he will not run for re-election.

It was a move that surprised the socialist group, according to sources.

MEPs are due to vote for his replacement in January.

Euronews’ Sandor Zsiros reported from Brussels: “According to our information, there were combative speeches at a group meeting of the socialists and the leftist MEPs are united: if they don’t get the parliament presidency this time, they will start a fight against the right wing inside the parliament and outside, in the different EU institutions.”