Italy still without a new head of state

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A parliamentary employee collects a ballot box in the Italian parliament. © Filippo Monteforte/Pool AFP/AP/dpa

There have already been six runs. So far there has been no clear candidate for the highest office in the republic.

Rome – Italy is still looking for a new head of state. In the sixth ballot, too, nobody received an absolute majority of 505 votes, as the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Roberto Fico, announced after the count on Friday evening in Rome.

336 politicians voted for the incumbent President Sergio Mattarella, 445 abstained and 106 gave blank papers. A seventh round of voting is to be held on Saturday from 9.30 a.m.

The presidential election has been going on since Monday, and two ballots were held on Friday. 1009 parliamentarians and regional representatives are called upon to cast their votes in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome.

In the fifth round, most voted for the current President of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Casellati. With 382 votes, however, the politician from the conservative Forza Italia failed to achieve the required absolute majority.

Italy’s politics seem further divided in the search for a man or a woman for the highest office in the state. Because of the complicated situation, the party leaders of the Lega, the Social Democrats and the Five Star Movement met in the evening, who together have a considerable part of the votes behind them.

Lega boss Salvini then spoke to journalists for a “capable woman” as President, without naming a name. Star party leader Giuseppe Conte also said he hoped for a female president. dpa

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