The European Parliament on Wednesday began voting to elect a new president.

The election vote commenced after EU leaders reached an agreement on top appointments such as the nomination of German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, to head the European Commission.

The one favoured to lead the parliament is Socialist EU lawmaker David Maria Sassoli of Italy.

The centre right European People’s Party, which came first ahead of the Socialists in May’s EU elections, is backing Sassoli in return for securing the commission’s nomination.

The parliament president would be elected for a two and a half year term.

The three other contenders are German EU lawmaker Ska Keller of the Greens, Spanish far left EU lawmaker Sira Rego and the Czech conservative Jan Zahradil.

The successful candidate requires an absolute majority of votes in the 751 seat legislature. Several rounds of voting will likely be necessary.

Following three days of gruelling negotiations, EU leaders also elected Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as European Council President and proposed Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as EU foreign policy chief on Tuesday.

The leaders also nominated International Monetary Fund chief, Christine Lagarde, as the next president of the European Central Bank.

The leaders proposed that the parliament picked a president from an eastern member state to help balance the other appointments.

However, outgoing parliament President Antonio Tajani said the legislature was “free and autonomous’’ and would not be bound by the suggestions of others.

Elections across the European Union in May triggered a new political cycle.