Left-wing bloc opposes Berlusconi’s presidential candidacy

Italy’s left-wing bloc has agreed to oppose Silvio Berlusconi’s presidential candidacy if the right-wing were to propose him. [EPA-EFE/FABIO FRUSTACI]

Italy’s left-wing bloc has agreed to oppose Silvio Berlusconi’s presidential candidacy if the right-wing proposed him, a source of Italy’s 5-Star Movement said on Wednesday.

This discussion took place during a meeting on Wednesday between Democratic Party leader Enrico Letta, 5-Star Movement chief Giuseppe Conte and the leader of Liberi Uguali, Roberto Speranza.

At the end of the meeting, the three leaders wrote on Twitter that the encounter had been excellent and that they “will work together to give the country an authoritative president in whom everyone can recognise themselves.”

“Open to discussions. No one can claim a right of first refusal. We all have the duty of responsibility,” they added.

Although they all agreed to boycott the initial voting sessions if the right-wing parties continued to back Berlusconi’s candidacy for the presidency, the three leaders could not agree on a common candidate to back.

The vote will start on 24 January, and voting sessions will continue until a candidate gets the necessary votes to get elected.

The president is voted by Senators, MPs and regions’ delegates, with a total of 1,009 voters. In the first three voting sessions, the president needs a two-thirds majority to be elected, meaning they need a minimum of 672 votes. If there is a fourth voting session, an absolute majority of a minimum of 505 votes will suffice.

Italy’s president has significant powers, including electing one-third of the Constitutional Court’s judges, calling for new elections, and promulgating all laws. The mandate lasts seven years and will start once Sergio Mattarella’s office formally expires on 3 February.

(Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com)

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