Again no winner in the presidential election in Italy

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The ballot papers are counted in the Italian Parliament. © Remo Casilli/Pool Reuters/AP/dpa

A successor is being sought for incumbent Sergio Mattarella. But that is delayed – and the anger grows.

Rome – The Italian parliamentarians and regional representatives did not find a winner on the fourth day of the election for the new president.

Although on Thursday, for the first time, no two-thirds but only an absolute majority of the 1009 votes would have been necessary, nobody got at least 505 votes. This means that on Friday the next ballot will begin in the search for a successor to incumbent Sergio Mattarella.

The centre-right and centre-left camps continued to negotiate intensively on possible candidates on the fourth day of voting. At the same time, the political opponents still did not appear to be making any significant rapprochement. The right-wing parties called on their voters to abstain – in the end 441 delegates did not throw in voting cards.

The centre-left group, on the other hand, cast white voting cards (261). As on Wednesday, Mattarella (166) received the most votes, although the Sicilian had already ruled out a second term. The governing parties – almost all of the big ones, from the right-wing Lega to the Social Democrats – want to avoid the government falling apart over the haggling and a possible contest vote.

Meanwhile, anger is growing in Rome that the election is dragging on for so long – even among those who vote themselves. “I feel sorry for the country,” said veteran Senator Emma Bonino. Her colleague Matteo Renzi, the former Prime Minister, criticized the tactical behavior of the parties: “This children’s stuff has to stop.” dpa

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