Italy failed to elect new President
Italy’s Parliament failed to elect new President of the Republic in the first rounds of voting on Thursday and on Friday. Political stalemate continues in Italy.
Bersani's candidate Franco Marini, a former union leader and Senate speaker, failed to get the required two-thirds majority of the 1,007 electors in the first vote. Meantime, in the second round of voting he did not garner votes as many members of both center-left and center-right blocks casted blank ballots. Marini’s candidacy has divided the center-left party. Bersani decided to nominate Marini after a deal with center-right boss Silvio Berlusconi. Reuters reports that dozens of traditional PD supporters protested outside parliament against the deal with Berlusconi.
Stefano Rodotà, an academic and the former chairman of the Italian Data Protection Authority garnered the second highest number of votes. Rodota is candidate of the populist 5-Star Movement of former comic Beppe Grillo.Nichi Vendola, head of Bersani's leftist ally SEL, said nominating Marini was a mistake. "Marini was a candidate who united the center-right, not the center-left," he told to Reuters.
A third vote was held on Friday morning, also requiring a two-thirds majority. Starting from the fourth vote a simple majority will be sufficient for a candidate to be elected, but the fourth vote on Friday afternoon did not produce a President. The 1,007 grand electors, 949 members of Parliament along with regional representatives, are voting for the next Italian President. President Giorgio Napolitano’s seven year terms ends on 15 May.