German Christian Democrat elected EU parliament president

German Christian Democrat Hans-Gert Poettering, a veteran European politician, was elected president of the European Parliament today until 2009, an official said.

German Christian Democrat Hans-Gert Poettering, a veteran European politician, was elected president of the European Parliament today until 2009, an official said.

Poettering, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party and a former leader of the influential European People’s Party in the EU parliament, won the majority in the first round of voting to replace Spanish Socialist Josep Borrell as the chair of the 785-member assembly, said the official.

Poettering secured the backing of the EPP and the Socialists.

Under a leadership deal between the parliament’s two biggest groups, which together have a comfortable majority in the 785-member assembly, the EPP backed Borrell in 2004, in exchange for the Socialists’ support for Poettering for the rest of the legislature’s current five-year term.

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