Christian Democrats back Stubb’s rival in ‘President of Europe’ election

Sari Essayah's four delegates decided not to give their votes to fellow countryman Alexander Stubb.

File picture of Christian Democrats chair Sari Essayah / Credit: Sari Essayah website

Finland’s Christian Democrats have thrown their support behind Alex Stubb‘s rival Manfred Weber, in the race to become the next ‘President of Europe’.

Former Prime Minister Stubb and German MEP Weber are both seeking the nomination as European People’s Party EPP lead candidate to be President of the European Commission in 2019.

The EPP is a group of centre-right and right-wing political parties from across Europe, and their ‘spitzenkandidat’ or lead candidate system is how they choose their top man (it has never been a woman) to become European Commission President if they win the lion’s share of seats in the European Parliament elections next spring.

Hundreds of EPP delegates will meet in Helsinki in early November to pick the lead candidate, and the Finnish Christian Democrats have four votes in that ballot.

Now, Christian Democrat leader Sari Essayah says her party will give those votes to Weber, who is a fellow Christian Democrat.

“The EPP has a strong Christian-democratic base, and Weber represents it well” says Essayah in an interview with her party’s website.

“I want to strengthen the Christian Democrats in the EPP group, which is why we sought full membership of the EPP” she adds. The Finnish Christian Democrats were given full EPP membership in April this year.