On 17 January MEPs will elect a successor to current president Martin Schulz, who is stepping down and will then go on to decide on who will be vice-presidents and quaestors.
The election starts at 9.00 CET and is done using a secret ballot. MEPs mark their preferred candidate on a ballot paper and place the vote in a ballot box, overseen by eight tellers chosen from among MEPs.
A candidate getting an absolute majority of the votes cast (50% + 1) is elected. Blank or spoiled ballot papers are not counted.
If there is no winner after the first ballot, the same candidates or new candidates can be nominated for a second round of voting under the same conditions. This can be repeated a third time if necessary. If no-one is elected at the third ballot, the two highest scoring candidates go to a fourth ballot, where the winner is decided by simple majority. If there is a tie, the older candidate is declared the winner.
The candidates, presented in order of the size of the political group they represent (as of January 11), are:
Antonio Tajani (European People’s Party)
Gianni Pittella (Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats)
Helga Stevens (European Conservatives and Reformists)
Guy Verhofstadt (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)
Eleonora Forenza (Confederal Group of the European United Left-Nordic Green Left)
Jean Lambert (Greens/European Free Alliance)
Piernicola Pedicini (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy)
Laurenţiu Rebega (Europe of Nations and Freedom Group)