The Italian President has called on Pier Luigi Bersani to form a government.
This follows a month of political deadlock after no party gained an absolute majority in the elections on February 24.
Bersani the leader of the Democratic Party (PD) must now seek support from his opponents to form a government.
Following the announcement by the President Napolitano, Bersani said:
“I’ll try to form a government that is able to generate the necessary changes that Italians are waiting for, a series of measures that we’ve been unable to realise until now: I aim to make constitutional, political and electoral reforms.”
Former-prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has seen a recent rise in his own opinion polls and has called for a cross party coalition with the PD that would give his party a share in government and the right to decide a successor to the President when his term ends on May 15.
Meanwhile Beppe Grillo, who leads the anti-establishment 5-star movement, has repeatedly said he will not back a government led by any other party.
If no deal can be reached Italy will return to the polls within months, delaying much needed reforms to the country’s stagnant economy which is in its longest recession for 20-years.