Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018
ROME

Front-runners emerge in presidential race

English
© ANSA

Rome, April 17 - On the eve of Italy's vote for the
next president of the Republic, front-runner candidates were
still coming into focus Wednesday, while some signs were given
that the field may be narrowing despite the country's polarized
political landscape.
"The conditions are there for a common choice," said
center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani. "It seems that the search
for a commonly shared solution is taking shape".
But exactly who the consensus candidate would be to succeed
Giorgio Napolitano at the end of his seven-year term was not yet
clear, though front-runners have emerged.
Beppe Grillo said on Wednesday that Stefano Rodota' will be
his 5-Star Movement's presidential candidate after investigative
journalist Milena Gabanelli and war-zone doctor Gino Strada
refused.
Rodota', 82, is a constitutional lawyer, former head of
Italy's privacy authority and former Communist and centre-left
MP.
He came third in an online vote of M5S members staged
Monday behind Gabanelli and Strada.
"After Milena Gabanelli and Gino Strada declined I called
Rodota', who agreed to stand and will be the candidate voted by
the M5S," comedian-turned-politician Grillo, whose
anti-establishment movement won around a quarter of the vote in
February's inconclusive general election, said via his Twitter
feed.
Lawmakers from the Lower and Upper House of parliament and
representatives of Italy's regional governments will start
voting for President Giorgio Napolitano's successor on Thursday.
"Stefano Rodota' is (over) 80 years old and he's been out
of the loop for a bit, but when he heard about the candidacy he
started jumping and said 'I'm available'," Grillo said at a
rally.
"Maybe he's too old, but we're supporting him".
Earlier on Wednesday Grillo accused Bersani of causing the
"suicide" of the Italian Republic after he had talks with
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi over possible names to be the next
head of state.
Democratic Party (PD) chief Bersani presented a shortlist
of three candidates, former centre-left premiers Giuliano Amato
and Massimo D'Alema and former centre-left Senate Speaker Franco
Marini, who are being "considered" by Berlusconi, according to
ANSA sources.
Grillo accused Bersani of holding a two-man primary with
"psycho-dwarf" Berlusconi.
He predicted that the pair were set to agree to have
D'Alema or Amato elected president.
He also insinuated that this deal would provide "judicial
guarantees" for Berlusconi, who is involved in several criminal
cases, including a trial into allegations he paid for sex with
an underage prostitute.
"For Bersani it is the suicide of the Republic for which
he, and only he, is responsible," Grillo said in his blog, which
gave life to the M5S in 2009.
Grillo had hinted on Tuesday that he might be willing to
soften his position, after staunchly refusing to back a
centre-left-led government to end Italy's post-election
deadlock, if Bersani backed the M5S's presidential candidate.
Rodota' is seen as a candidate who may also be able to
garner support from parts of the PD.

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