Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Italian left in disarray after resignations

20 April 2013, 14:57

Rome - Voting in Italy's parliament to pick a president entered a chaotic third day on Saturday, with the left in total disarray after its leaders resigned over failure to get their candidates elected.

The situation deepened a political crisis triggered by a general election two months ago that left no clear winner to govern the country.

Ex-trade union leader Franco Marini and widely respected former European Commission chief Romano Prodi have both now withdrawn their candidacies to be president, and the top-selling Corriere della Sera daily said the country was "suspended in a void".

Voting began in the first of two rounds on Saturday but lawmakers from the main parties said they would either not take part or would cast empty ballots in a desperate stalling tactic as they decide what to do next and the centre-left attempts to smooth over widening rifts.

PD secretary Pier Luigi Bersani and chairperson Rosy Bindi announced on Friday that they were resigning after 101 lawmakers from the centre-left rebelled and did not vote for the coalition's proposed candidate, Prodi.

Italy's leftist press was pitiless.

"Collective Suicide", read the headline of an editorial in Il Fatto Quotidiano daily, adding that the PD was "in tatters".

Target of growing criticism

La Repubblica said Prodi's failed candidacy was "a disaster" for the party, which was formed in 2007 as an amalgam of various centrist parties and the remnants of the powerful Italian Communist Party.

"The epicentre of the crisis is the Democratic Party," it said, accusing rebels from the centre-left of "blind cannibalism" and blaming the "mediocrity of the party leadership".

Bersani had been the target of growing criticism after he threw away a big lead in the opinion polls ahead of the February elections, winning by such a narrow margin that he was left without an overall majority in parliament.

The eurozone's third largest economy has been in political deadlock since then with bickering politicians unable to strike a compromise to form a government as Mario Monti's outgoing cabinet limps on with interim powers.

The big business lobby Confindustria has warned that Italy has already lost one percentage point in gross domestic product (GDP) since the political crisis began, although reaction from the financial markets has been relatively muted.

Observers had voiced hope that a cross-party agreement on a new president could have been the basis for a broader deal on forming a new government. But that now appears a distant prospect and fresh elections are more likely.

Possible candidates

"This is a real puzzle that the country cannot remain locked in for long," said Stefano Folli, a columnist for Il Sole 24 Ore business daily.

"A head of state has to be chosen very soon and with a large majority," he said, adding that "a more neutral candidate" could win the day.

Among the remaining possibilities is Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri, who has been proposed by Monti and would be the country's first female head of state or government.

The names of former prime minister Giuliano Amato and Massimo D'Alema are also frequently mentioned.

For its part, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement party, which won a quarter of the vote in the February elections, has put forward Stefano Rodota - an academic and civil rights advocate.


Tags italy

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...