Marc Angel replaces detained Qatargate MEP as Parliament VP – POLITICO

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Marc Angel, a Luxembourg Socialist, was elected Wednesday to replace Eva Kaili as a European Parliament vice president following the Greek lawmaker’s arrest in an ongoing corruption probe.

Angel’s election preserves the seat for the Parliament’s Socialists & Democrats (S&D) group, which has been rocked by allegations that foreign countries including Qatar may have illegally influenced some of the group’s lawmakers, including Kaili. The group now once again holds five of Parliament’s 14 vice presidential slots, giving it considerable say in setting the assembly’s rules and making decisions on administrative, staffing and organizational matters.

Angel, who was first elected in 2019, won the job with the backing of the center-right European People’s Party, Parliament’s largest group, and the liberal Renew group, honoring a political deal the three struck in 2019 to share the body’s most powerful positions.

With 307 votes, Angel finished well ahead of a right-wing candidate, Annalisa Tardino, who secured 185 votes, and the Greens’ candidate, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, who got 98 votes.

His election comes just over a month after Kaili was booted from the post in the wake of her arrest. She remains detained in Brussels and has denied the charges.

After the vote, Angel wrote on Twitter: “Proud to be elected Vice-President of the European Parliament. Thanks to all those who have supported me! The work starts now.”

Some MEPs not backing Angel argued the moment was a missed opportunity to punish the S&D as the Qatargate scandal unfolds.

“This could be a strong signal that we understand how serious this all is and that we want to win back trust. … Instead, we get business as usual,” Volt MEP Damian Boeselager told POLITICO before the vote.

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