Poetering elected European Parliament President… behind closed doors

15 January 2007

Poetering elected European Parliament President… behind closed doors

The Christian Democrat Hans-Gert Poetering will be voted European Parliament President tomorrow in an election which is pure show. Condemning the process as wholly undemocratic, SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard said that “two-and-a-half years ago a deal was done between the two big political groups of centre-right (EPP) and centre-left (PES). They agreed that following the presidency of social democrat Josep Borrel Fontelles, Mr Poetering would have his turn. So, as usual, a president emerges from behind closed doors.”

Kartika LiotardOpposition candidates have no chance whatsoever, as Ms Liotard explained. “We will be voting for Francis Wurtz, the candidate of our own group, the United Left (GUE-NGL), but that’s only a protest against the horse-trading of political positions which takes place at the European level.” In addition to the presidency, the chairs of the various parliamentary committees are ‘elected’ in just the same way.

The departing President, Josep Borrel, was a strong supporter of the European Constitution. "Even so,” Liotard says, “we expect to have more problems with Poetering in this area. The big ambition of the German Christian Democrats, Poetering’s party, is to breathe new life into the rejected Constitution. Chancellor Angela Merkel is doing her best to achieve this from Berlin, and now Poetering can pitch in with support from Brussels and Strasbourg.”

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