Italian lawmakers have failed to elect a new president during the first two rounds of voting, as tensions grow among center - left politicians.
Italy's parliament failed to elect a new successor to President Giorgio Napolitano during the first and second rounds of voting on Thursday, with no candidate able to secure the required two-thirds vote. Frontrunner Franco Marini, a former trade unionist and ex-Senate Speaker, failed on both accounts to attain the 672 votes required for a two-thirds majority win. A third vote, which also requires a two-thirds majority, has been planned for Friday morning. If no winner is selected after the third round, the voting ballot will continue with two votes a day until a president receives a simple majority and is elected. The selection of a new president comes as Napolitano ends his presidency next month. Experts hope that a new successor will promote national unity by ending the political impasse that has blocked the formation of a new Italian government for nearly two months. Since Italy’s parliamentary election gave no party enough seats to form a government alone, Rome has been left with a caretaker government for 6 weeks. Tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes introduced by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with the European country’s ailing economy. Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures, triggering protests against spending cuts in many European countries.