Italy elects a new head of state. It is far from clear who will take over this post. A quick decision is not to be expected.
Update from January 24, 10:04 p.m: The second round of the election of a new president in Italy did not bring any results either. No candidate achieved the necessary two-thirds majority on Tuesday. As there was still no prior agreement on a candidate, more than half of those eligible to vote had again cast blank ballots.
As in the first ballot, the little-known 85-year-old former judge of the Constitutional Court, Paolo Maddalena, won the second round with only 39 votes. Equal was incumbent Sergio Mattarella. The 80-year-old doubled his share of the vote, although he ruled out another term.
Italy election: first round brings no decision
Update from January 24, 8:03 p.m: The first round of the election of a new president in Italy has not yet brought any result. As expected, no candidate achieved the necessary two-thirds majority in the first ballot on Monday. Since there was no prior agreement on a candidate, most parties called for blank ballots to be cast. The second round is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Update from January 24, 4:15 p.m.: In Italy, the election of a new president has begun. A body of more than a thousand deputies, senators and representatives of the regions took part in the first round of voting in Rome at 3 p.m. The vote was secret. A dedicated polling station has been set up in the Parliament car park for voters who have tested positive for the coronavirus or who are in quarantine.
Italy’s incumbent Prime Minister Mario Draghi is the favorite in the multi-day election. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who withdrew his candidacy at short notice over the weekend and went to the hospital for medical examinations, and the head of the right-wing Lega, Matteo Salvini, reject an appointment to Draghi as president. Salvini referred to its importance for the stability of the broad government alliance. “It would be dangerous for Italy to form a new government at a difficult economic time,” he told reporters.
Italy election begins: Draghi as president not wanted by Berlusconi and Salvini – “would be dangerous”
Center-left PD leader Enrico Letta, on the other hand, stressed that Draghi was an “extraordinary support” for Italy. His name is still on the table in the presidential election. Other names for the presidential candidacy have been circulating in the Italian press for weeks, including several former ministers.
First report: Rome/Munich – The time has come for Italy: the election of the new president is pending. today (January 24) 1009 electors are supposed to cast their votes at 3 p.m. and determine the successor to Sergio Mattarella. However, the leaders of the major parties are firmly assuming that there will be no winner in the first ballot.
A candidate for the highest office in the state needs a two-thirds majority in the election to win. Without cross-camp candidates, however, this is practically impossible.
Italy election: Former ECB boss Draghi is considered the favorite – Berlusconi withdraws his candidacy
Although it is unclear how many ballots will be necessary, there is already a favorite. Current prime minister and former head of the ECB Mario Draghi is in a particularly good position to succeed incumbent Mattarella and is considered the favourite. Should Draghi become the new head of state, it would be the first time in Italian history that the prime minister has been promoted directly to the post of president.
At the same time, Draghi’s election would lead to problems, because in this case the future of the government would be open. The centre-left parties want the coalition to continue until the end of the 2023 legislative period. However, this requires a new, strong head of government. Who this could be after Draghi is unclear.
In the course of the elections in Italy, the candidacy of the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and thus his possible comeback attracted a lot of attention. The almost forgotten Berlusconi, who had been rather off the big political stage for a long time, suddenly made a big impression again and wanted to fight for the highest office.
Only 48 hours before the election, however, he apparently decided otherwise and withdrew his candidacy at short notice over the weekend. “I have decided to take another step in responsibility for this country,” said Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday evening (22nd of January) to explain. He will serve his country in a different way.
Italy election: Several ballots expected again – party leaders doubt a quick outcome
In fact, statements by Italian politicians show that a final decision is unlikely in the first ballot. Instead, party leaders pursue specific political strategies. The social democratic party leader Enrico Letta resigned on Sunday evening (January 23) in a TV interview that he and his colleagues will hand in white ballots in the first ballot to signal a willingness to engage in dialogue with the centre-right. The delegates of the Five Star Movement are also flirting with voting cards without names.
Party leader Matteo Salvini from the co-governing Lega is also assuming on Tuesday (January 25) to go to the second ballot – he agreed on a meeting of his delegates for that day, as was learned from party circles. Only in the fourth ballot, which is scheduled for Thursday, will a candidate for election as head of state have an absolute majority.
Italy election: Dozens of ballots prolong the process – the record is set by the Christian Democrat in 1971
Multiple ballots are not at all uncommon in Italy and would be nothing new for Italian citizens in the forthcoming election. In the 75-year history of the Republic, the elections in Italy have always been marked by long processes. The Christian Democrat Giovanni Leone set the previous record in 1971 with a total of 23 ballots. Even when it came to the election of the legendary Sandro Pertini, there were multiple ballots. Even the most popular President, Pertini, needed 16 ballots.
Italy’s new head of state will be elected for a seven-year term. In the first three ballots, each of which takes one day, a two-thirds majority is required for victory; from the fourth ballot, an absolute majority is sufficient. Even if it is a rather representative post, Italy’s president plays a central role in crisis situations. (bb with material from dpa and afp)
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