EU Parliament elects Lunacek as VP

EU Parliament elects Lunacek as VP
Ulrike Lunacek. Photo: APA
The Austrian Greens EU MP Ulrike Lunacek has been elected as vice president of the European Parliament.

In the third round of voting the 57-year-old achieved the required majority among the 751 delegates on Tuesday. This means that Lunacek, who gained a seat in parliament in 2009, is the highest ranked Austrian MP in the EU.

The European Parliament chose the German Social Democrat Martin Schulz as its president for another two and half years. Besides Lunacek 13 other vice presidents were elected.

Lunacek was nominated by the Greens faction in the European parliament (EFA/European Free Alliance) to run against Schulz.

However, she was not able to win as Schulz was backed not only by his Social Democrats but also by the conservative European People's Party and the liberal faction.

The Greens had criticized this as a "backroom deal". Lunacek said that her main priority as vice president would be to urge for more transparency and compel lobbyists to register officially.

Lunacek is Austria's first openly gay politician, and was recently attacked at Vienna's gay pride parade by someone spraying acid – but was luckily not injured. 

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