Lord Kilclooney condemns use of secret ballot to appoint EU President

Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker

A former Ulster MEP has condemned the use of a secret ballot to appoint Jean-Claude Juncker as EU President.

Former Ulster Unionist MEP Lord Kilclooney, who represented the Province in Brussels between 1979 and 1989, said that MPs and MEPs are elected by the public and the public “must know how their elected members are voting”.

The former Ulster Unionist deputy leader, who now sits as a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, said he was “amazed” to have heard that MEPs voted in secret to appoint Mr Juncker and added: “The European Parliament is not transparent – it now has secret votes.

“This creates disrespect for the European Union. There are 28 parliaments in Europe and the European Parliament must be the only one which votes in secret.”

The use of a secret ballot to elect the new EU president was also condemned by Sinn Fein.

Sinn Fein’s Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan said that her party had opposed the decision to hold a secret vote “as it is our firm belief that MEPs should be held accountable to the people who elected them”.