The MEP who is expected to be voted into the European parliament's top job on Tuesday has been accused of "demeaning" the institution by already forming his private office.
"Schulz started forming his cabinet six months ago. This shows the whole parliament election as the farce it is. It's a done deal, an agreed stitch-up already. Only parliament or a third world country would have someone of Schulz's temperament or calibre as president." - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP By Martin Banks | The Parliament • German Socialist member Martin Schulz has been roundly condemned after it emerged he had already started forming his cabinet ahead of Tuesday's vote to elect parliament's next president.
MEPs will vote in a secret ballot to elect a successor to Jerzy Buzek, the outgoing president, during the parliamentary plenary in Strasbourg.
Schulz is the overwhelming favourite to win but there are two other candidates in the election, both of whom criticised Schulz for "prejudging" the outcome of the ballot.
They said it highlights the "stitch-up" for the post between parliament's mainstream political groups.
The German has also come under fire for teaming up with the leaders of the EPP and ALDE, the other two biggest groups in the parliament, to prevent the candidates from addressing MEPs ahead of the vote.
Leading the attack was Nirj Deva, a British Conservative candidate, who said, "Schulz should not be measuring the curtains before a single ballot has been cast. It is disrespectful to the House to pre-judge their vote. It demeans each and every member. If elected is this what we will have to endure for two and a half years?"
Further criticism came from Diana Wallis, the other candidate in the race, who declared, "It is up to individual members to decide whether what Schulz is doing is appropriate or not, although it seems to prejudge the outcome and gives rather a lot of people a vested interest in a particular result - just to add that personally I am neither appointing my staff nor measuring up for new curtains."
Elsewhere, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said, "I expect UKIP members to make political capital out of the snarling angry manner of [Martin] Schulz if he is elected president. "Schulz started forming his cabinet six months ago. This shows the whole parliament election as the farce it is. It's a done deal, an agreed stitch-up already. Only parliament or a third world country would have someone of Schulz's temperament or calibre as president."
Party colleague Marta Andreasen was equally scathing, saying, "The arrogance of Schulz has never been in doubt but forming a cabinet before election is a new low.
"It underlines the contempt towards normal parliamentary democracy displayed by the bigger political groups."
She also said a debate in parliament last week between the three candidates was a waste of time. "As welcome as the debate was, it was a fruitless exercise when the outcome is already pre-determined."