Saturday, May 28

The Italian Parliament enters its second day to vote for the next head of state

The Italian Parliament began the second day of voting to elect a new president of the Republic in the midst of arduous negotiations between political parties, without an agreement in sight for the time being.

The marathon voting session began at 3:00 p.m. local time (2:00 p.m. GMT) and, like yesterday, will last for about seven hours as 1,009 “major electors” must vote, specifically 630 deputies, 321 senators and 58 regional delegates, and then the paper ballots are counted one by one.

The procedure started with the vote of voters with health problems, like Umberto Bossi, the founder of the Northern League and in a wheelchair, who was once again the first.

The first day ended with 672 blank ballots because the big parties refused to bet on a name for the head of state while waiting to negotiate it. No block, neither the left nor the right, add up to the necessary quorum (two-thirds of the chamber or an absolute majority since the fourth ballot, on Thursday).

Today the number of voters will return to the established number, 1,009, since the deputy has been replacedo Vincenzo Fasano of the “Berlusconian” Forza Italia, deceased two days ago, by the substitute Rosella Sessa.

Everything suggests that the result of this Tuesday’s vote will be like yesterday’s, because the indication of the big parties is to continue with the blank ballot, such as the progressive Democratic Party, 5 Star Movement and Free and Equal or FI.

Yesterday the most voted names were those of the Minister of Justice, Marta Cartabia, with nine ballots, the former judge of the Constitutional Court Paolo Maddalena, with 36 votes, and the outgoing president, Sergio Mattarella, who obtained 16 votes.

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Meanwhile, the political parties maintain frantic meetings to try to agree on a head of state and the possibility of electing the current prime minister, Mario Draghi, is debated.

The problem is that the “rise” of the former president of the European Central Bank would mean his resignation from the government he presides over, supported by a national coalition, and having to find a replacement for him, since otherwise it would lead to an early election that few want.

They just claim it the only opposition to Draghi, Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy, encouraged by the good data predicted by the polls.

The media maintain that Draghi himself has gotten fully involved in the negotiations, although politicians like Salvini have denied it and said that they have talked about national and international political issues, such as the Ukraine issue, because the government continues to function.

Yesterday the head of the League met with the secretary of the Democratic Party, Enrico Letta, and at the end they assured “A dialogue has been opened.”

For the moment neither Salvini nor the center-left coalition has given names of possible candidates and only Meloni has done it, who is openly betting on former prosecutor Carlo Nordio as president of the Republic.

The centre-right alliance, made up of Salvini, Meloni and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, will offer a press conference this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. GMT).

The media advance that it will reveal a list with three possible candidates, such as the president of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Caselatti, the former mayor of Milan (north), Letizia Moratti, or the thinker Marcello Pera.

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