EU parliament elects new president

EU parliament elects new president
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STRASBOURG: (APP) The European Parliament elects a new president on Tuesday in a vote that promises to be stormy after a coalition aimed at keeping eurosceptics out of power broke down.

The winner will replace Germany's Martin Schulz, who during five years in office made the role far more powerful and prominent than it had ever been before.

The new president will lead the EU's only elected body, which will have the final say on a Brexit deal expected in two years time.

The 751 members of the parliament will cast secret ballots in Strasbourg, France. The vote can go to a maximum of four rounds.

The main candidates are both Italian: centre-right politician Antonio Tajani, and socialist Gianni Pittella. Another five candidates have little chance.

"I am almost sure the winner will have a link with Italy," joked Liberal candidate Guy Verhofstadt -- a former Belgian premier who owns a vineyard in Italy.

Schulz is meanwhile going back to politics in Germany.

But the contest has been a bitter one as a long-standing agreement between the two political groups broke down.

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