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European Parliament backs Busuttil's nomination to EU panel - Sant does not vote

Simon Busuttil will serve for four years.

Simon Busuttil will serve for four years.

Updated 4.24pm

Simon Busuttil's nomination to join an EU panel tasked with scrutinising European Court of Justice nominees has been approved by the European Parliament. 

In a vote held this morning, the EP plenary voted in favour of Dr Busuttil's nomination by a margin of 556 to 82. 35 MEPs abstained. 

On Sunday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat made it a point to say that Labour Party MEPs would be backing Dr Busuttil's nomination.  However the PN observed today that MEP Alfred Sant did not vote this morning, despite being present for the sitting. 

Former MEP and outgoing Nationalist Party leader Dr Busuttil will keep his seat in Malta's parliament, with the panel only taking up a small portion of his time. He will serve as the EP's representative on the panel, replacing Italian Luigi Berlinguer.

In his first comments following the vote, Dr Busuttil thanked the EP for its confidence in him.

"I pledge to perform my duties to the best of my abilities, as I have done in every public post I have occupied," he said. 

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