Monday, February 05, 2007

Far-right members of the European Parliament have been denied leading positions on two assembly committees after other MEPs united to block them

BBC News:

Candidates from the Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty Group were defeated in secret ballots after centre-left and liberal MEPs put the matter to a vote.

Under the informal system which usually operates the bloc would have been given two vice-chairmanships without a vote.

Group leader Bruno Gollnisch denounced the move as petty and dishonourable.

Last month the arrival of MEPs from European newcomers Bulgaria and Romania in parliament gave the far-right enough seats to form a recognised parliamentary alliance.

Mr Gollnisch said the group would base itself on Christian values and on human rights.

Members include the granddaughter of the Italian wartime fascist leader Benito Mussolini and the leader of the French National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

But instead of the group being given two committee vice-chairmanships as ordinarily would happen, MEPs from the centre of the political spectrum used an arcane political manoeuvre to show their disapproval.

Normally these positions are filled by acclamation without going to a vote, but this time centre-left and liberal MEPs triggered the procedure for a secret ballot and the far-right candidates were overwhelmingly defeated.

Denouncing the manoeuvre in a plenary session, Mr Gollnisch said it was unworthy of a parliament which claimed to serve as a model to the world.

He warned that his group would exercise their rights in other ways, and thanked his centrist colleagues for giving them the publicity.

Far-Right Wing Group Sidelined in European Parliament


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