Italians fail to choose president

ROME — Italian lawmakers failed on Thursday to elect the nation’s president during an initial two rounds of voting, the latest worrisome evidence of the political discord thwarting the formation of a government for two months.

President Giorgio Napolitano’s term ends next month, and choosing his successor is viewed as a critical step toward resolving the political impasse that resulted from inconclusive national elections for Parliament in February.

While the presidency is mostly ceremonial, the post has the power to dissolve Parliament and call a new national election and also tap the candidate with enough support in the legislature to try to form a government.


During Thursday’s vote by both houses of Parliament and regional electors, Franco Marini, a longtime union leader and former Senate president, finished first in the initial ballot, but fell far short of the two-thirds majority needed during the first three rounds of voting.

Associated Press