New EU Parliament re-elects Schulz as leader

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament has elected German center-left politician Martin Schulz as the assembly’s president.

Schulz, who also served as president of the Parliament from 2012 until earlier this year, was re-elected Tuesday with a majority of 409 votes of the 723 ballots cast.

The legislature held its constituting session in France’s Strasbourg, about six weeks after voters handed almost one in three seats to parties seeking less Europe, in a show of distrust with how the 28-nation bloc is run.

During the ceremonial opening of the five-year term, lawmakers from Britain’s Euroskeptic, anti-immigration UK Independence Party turned their backs on the assembly while an orchestra performed the European anthem, part of Beethoven’s ninth symphony.

Parliament’s 751 lawmakers have an important role in shaping EU policies. [AP]

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