While Leo Brincat won the support of the parliament’s budgetary control committee, a plenary vote on Tuesday was 229 votes in favour to 381 against, with 58 abstentions.
Brincat--a Maltese MP and former environment minister and finance minister--was named in the “Panama Papers” cache of confidential tax documents released earlier this year.
The government of each EU member state nominates a member to the ECA, which checks that European funds have been correctly spent. The parliament’s vote is consultative; the final decision will be taken by the European Council, which is made up of EU government ministers.
During this week’s plenary vote, the European Parliament supported the appointment of Portugal’s new member to the ECA, João Figueiredo, and a renewal of the mandate for the Cypriot member, Lazaros S. Lazarou.
Members serve a six year term.
New court president
Also on Tuesday, Klaus-Heiner Lehne was elected president of the ECA by its 28 sitting members.
Prior to becoming Germany’s member in 2014, the lawyer was a member of the European and German parliaments, according to a press announcement.
He replaces Vítor Caldeira, who took up the post in 2008 and will now head the Portuguese Court of Auditors.