STRASBOURG, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Antonio Tajani of the European People's Party Group has been elected President of the European Parliament on Tuesday.
Tajani led the first three rounds of voting, but was not able to secure the absolute majority necessary to win earlier in the day.
After the grueling contest, he emerged after defeating Gianni Pittella, leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, in a final fourth voting round, by 351 votes to 282.
A founder of the Forza Italia party, Tajani is former European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and has a reputation for strong commitment to business and deep personal ethics.
At the end of his work at the European Commission, Tajani refused the so-called "golden handshake," a three-year 468,000-euro(about 501,000 U.S. dollars) payout to former Commissioners intended to help them transition out of the public sector.
He replaces outgoing Socialist President Martin Schulz, whom he thanked for the work he did during his mandate, and will serve a renewable 2.5-year term.
Tajani takes office immediately and, in his first duties, will oversee the election of 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors on Wednesday.
STRASBOURG, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Antonio Tajani of the European People's Party Group promised "total availability" to all political groups in an acceptance speech in Strasbourg after being elected President of the European Parliament on Tuesday evening.
"Allow me to thank all of you, those who voted for me and those who voted for my friend Gianni Pittella in this last round," Tajani declared in his first speech from the head of the hemicycle, just minutes after the results were announced. "And I would like to thank all of those who voted for other candidates from other political groups." Full story
By Jeremy Hawkins
STRASBOURG, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- As Antonio Tajani takes over the role of President of the European Parliament following his election on Tuesday, filling the office vacated by Martin Schulz, the Italian conservative will be seeking to assure his colleagues and European citizens that he will usher new energy into the institution.
"Change" was the watchword during the Presidential election campaign, with nearly all six candidates for the post making a claim to bringing change to the institution and to Europe. For many, this was code for the end of what has been known as "The Grand Coalition," a power-sharing agreement between the two largest political groups, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D), and the European People's Party Group (EPP), that has held sway over the hemicycle since 2014. Full story