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+++ Title of Story +++ Former ALDE Group Leader elected ELDR President +++ Story Summary +++ Today Sir Graham Watson MEP (UK LibDem) was elected unopposed President of the party of European Liberal Democrats (ELDR) at their Congress in Palermo along with five vice-presidents (Marc Guerrero, Lousewies van der Laan, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Leoluca Orlando, Astrid Thors). He takes over from Annemie Neyts (Open VLD, Belgium) who has led the Party since 2005. Taking over the reins of the party in the middle of one of the most serious crises of Europe's history giving rise to increased euro scepticism and threatening the very foundation of the EU itself will present a major challenge for the Party which believes strongly in European integration and solidarity. Sir Graham Watson has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1994, where he has served as Leader of the UK Liberal Democrat delegation, as Chairman of the Committee on Justice and Home Affairs (1999-2001) and as Leader of the ALDE Group (2002-09). He was re-elected for a fourth mandate in 2009 and sits on the foreign affairs committee. He became active in Liberal politics in the 1970s and has consistently demonstrated an interest in international matters: he was active as a Vice President (1977-79) and Secretary General (1979-81) of the International Federation of Liberal and Radical Youth and as a founder member of LYMEC and served on the ELDR Council during the 1980s and early 1990s. He has also been ...