How is the President elected? 


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Candidates for the presidency may be put forward either by a political group or by 1/20th of Members, i.e. 38 MEPs (“low threshold” introduced by the revised Rules of Procedure). The election is held by secret ballot (Rule 15).

MEPs vote by indicating their preferred candidate on a paper ballot and placing it in a ballot box. The process is overseen by eight tellers, chosen by lot from among MEPs. To be elected, a candidate must win an absolute majority of the valid votes cast, i.e. 50% plus one (Rule 16).

Blank or spoiled ballots do not count in calculating the majority required. If no candidate is elected in the first round of voting, the same or other candidates can be nominated for a second round under the same conditions. This can be repeated in a third round if necessary, again with the same rules.

If no-one is elected at the third ballot, the two highest-scoring candidates in that round proceed to a fourth ballot, where the one receiving the greater number of votes wins. The newly-elected President then takes the chair and may make an opening address before presiding over the election of the Vice-Presidents and Quaestors.