European Parliament ousts Kaili as a vice-president

The European Parliament decided on December 13 to remove Greek MEP Eva Kaili as one its vice-presidents, it said in a statement.

The decision that Kaili will no longer serve as one of the European Parliament’s vice-presidents was approved by 625 votes in favour, one against and two abstentions, representing a double majority of two-thirds of the votes cast and a majority of members composing the European Parliament, the statement said.

Deutsch Welle reported that the 44-year-old Greek Social Democrat was arrested in Belgium on Friday over allegations she was part of a group accepting bribes from Qatar in exchange for promoting policies friendly to the Gulf state. Both Qatar and Kaili have denied any wrongdoing.

The European Parliament statement said that the vote was taken according to article 21 of Parliament’s rules of procedure, and it follows the ongoing investigations in Belgium involving some members and staff of the European Parliament.

The procedure has been triggered by a decision of the Conference of Presidents (EP President and political groups’ leaders) on the morning of December 13, which approved the action unanimously.

The European Parliament is to hold a debate on the afternoon of December 13 on the suspicions of corruption from Qatar and the broader need for transparency and accountability in the European institutions, and vote on a resolution on the matter on Thursday in the early afternoon.

On December 12, EP President Roberta Metsola delivered a statement on the situation.

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