Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Amato, D'Alema, Marini being considered for president

English
© ANSA

(By Denis Greenan).
Rome, April 17 - Former centre-left premiers
Giuliano Amato and Massimo D'Alema and former centre-left Senate
Speaker Franco Marini are being "considered" as future Italian
presidents in a possible deal between the top two parties that
emerged almost neck-and-neck in the general election 50 days
ago.
Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, who won the House but
not the Senate in February, reportedly handed centre-right
leader Silvio Berlusconi, who came a close second, a shortlist
of candidates to replace Giorgio Napolitano, sources close to
the negotiations said.
Three-time premier and media magnate Berlusconi "is
considering" the three, the sources said.
Two-time premier Amato, who helped draft the EU Constitution
in 2002, is a highly respected institutional lawyer who was also
a trusted aide of late Socialist premier Bettino Craxi, a close
friend of Berlusconi who protected his burgeoning TV empire in
the 1980s.
Pundits have said he is the most acceptable centre-left
candidate for Berlusconi.
D'Alema, like Bersani and Napolitano a former Communist,
worked closely with Berlusconi on Constitutional reforms in the
1990s although they eventually came to nothing.
Marini is from the ex-Christian Democrat wing of Bersani's
Democratic Party (PD) and is a former chief of Catholic trade
union CISL.
Parliament and regional representatives will start voting
for the next president Thursday.
There will be two votes a day, each taking four or five
hours, including the weekend.
A two-thirds majority of the 1007 'grand electors' is needed
in the first three ballots, after which a simple majority of 504
is enough.
The PD and its allies are not far short of that mark but
Bersani would like a broader majority to help heal deep
political and social divisions amid a worsening economic crisis.
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party has set its face
against ex-premier and former European Commission chief Romano
Prodi, another touted candidate.
Comedian Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement
(M5S), which captured a dramatic protest vote in the elections
to hold the balance of power in parliament, is refusing to talk
to the PD and Pdl.
Investigative journalist Milena Gabanelli topped an online
M5S poll for president with war-zone doctor Gino Strada second
and Constitutional lawyer Stefano Rodota' third.
Gabanelli declined the offer Wednesday and Strada is
expected to do the same, leaving Rodota' as a likely candidate.
A former Communist, ex-centre-left MP and former head of
Italy's privacy watchdog, Rodota' is also in with a chance of
garnering cross-party support, pundits say.
Napolitano was elected by a simple majority in 2006 but has
since been recognised as one of the most successful champions of
national unity.

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