Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018
ROME

First session for president election possible April 18

English
© ANSA

Rome, April 3 - The first session to elect a new
Italian president will be possible on April 18, the House said
Wednesday.
Giorgio Napolitano's seven-year term ends on May 15 and
parties are wrangling about a successor, with no agreement in
sight.
Napolitano has been struggling to break Italy's
post-election stalemate.
The three leading forces - Pier Luigi Bersani's Democratic
Party (PD), Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party
and Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement - are
sticking insisted to mutually incompatible stances.
Some observers think new elections are on the horizon but
Napolitano cannot dissolve parliament because of Constitutional
curbs on a president's powers in the last six months of his
term.
So that job will fall to Napolitano's successor.
Among the names touted have been ex-premiers Romano Prodi
and Giuliano Amato but both are from the centre left and would
be unacceptable to Berlusconi who has already accused the PD of
trying to "occupy" top institutional posts after electing
parliament's two Speakers.
Pundits say ex-Senate Speaker Franco Marino, a more centrist
centre-left figure, would be more acceptable to Berlusconi, who
has floated long-time advisor and institutional fixer Gianni
Letta.
Both Letta and Berlusconi himself, whose candidacy has been
advanced by the PdL, are unacceptable to the PD.
M5S has opened an online poll to suggest candidates and has
already suggested humanitarian war-zone doctor Gino Strada.
Voting for the president will be by the 945 members of the
two houses of parliament plus regional representatives, making a
total of 1007.
A two-thirds majority is needed for the first three votes,
and then a simple majority.
Presidents, who represent national unity and have the power
to help governments form and vet laws, are usually expected to
be voted by a broad majority.

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