By the end of the day, Roberta Metsola could have made history by becoming the youngest-ever President of the European Parliament and occupying the most important role any Maltese person has ever had on the internal stage.
The Acting President is widely tipped to win today’s election, but three other candidates stand in her way to the coveted spot.
It’s expected to be a day of twists and turns that could run well into the evening, so it’s important to keep up to date with the latest details coming out of Parliament.
So what’s happening today?
The ball starts rolling at 9am with Metsola and the other three candidates, Alice Bah Kuhnke, Kosma Złotowski and Sira Rego, giving brief addresses to Parliament before voting begins.
Voting will officially start at around 9.30am with the 705 MEPs each taking part in a secret ballot. Given COVID-19 restrictions, many MEPs will actually be voting virtually.
MEPs have around 45 minutes to cast their vote, with a further 45 minutes allotted to counting the results.
The result of the first vote should be in at around 11.30am. However, a candidate will only be declared the winner if they get more than 50% of the vote.
There will be a maximum of four rounds of voting. The 50% threshold will be the benchmark for the first three votes, and if it gets to the fourth round, the candidate with the most votes will win the contest.
With 705 MEPs, Metsola needs the support of at least 353 MEPs to get elected.
Each round of voting will take approximately one hour and a half between the ballots being submitted and a result being announced.
The latest time for a final result will be 6pm. Should Metsola win, she will likely deliver a press conference and will address Parliament as the official President for the first time the very next day.
There is a sombre tone to this year’s vote, given the passing of David Sassoli, who was the serving EP President when he died on 11th January 2022.
It should be noted that the vote was already scheduled, with EP Presidents subjecting themselves to reelection every two and a half years.
And who are the candidates running?
Beyond Metsola, Swedish MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke, representing the Greens, Polish MEP Kosma Złotowski from the European Conservatives and Reformists, and Spanish MEP Sira Rego, a member of the EP left group have all put their names forward
While none of their European political parties has ever managed to elect an MEP to the post of European Parliament President, each stands a chance if Metsola fails to get the required support from people outside her grouping, the European People’s Party.
However, besides the EPP, she has also been endorsed by Renew Europe, the third-largest party in the Parliament.
It remains to be seen whether Metsola will make history, but it seems fortunes are currently in her favour.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Do you think Metsola will win?