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Conservatives pick ex-Luxembourg PM as candidate for European Commission president

Published on Mar 7, 2014 10:40 PM

DUBLIN (AFP) - European conservatives on Friday picked former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker as their candidate to be the next European Commission president - igniting the centre right grouping's campaign for European elections in May.

Mr Juncker comfortably defeated Michel Barnier, a French European Union commissioner, at a congress of the European People's Party (EPP) in Dublin by 382 votes to 245.

For the first time this year, member states will have to take into account the result of the European elections on May 25 when they pick a president to lead the executive of the European Union.

Mr Juncker, 59, served as Luxembourg premier for 19 years, making him Europe's longest-serving leader until he was defeated in a general election last year.

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