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Italian MPs and regional delegates are readying to vote in a new Italian president, as incumbent president Giorgio Napolitano comes to the end of his 7-year mandate. The voting is carried out as a series of negotiations rather than a straight vote for candidates who have been campaigning for the job. These negotiations have been going on for some time, amongst the leaders of the main political parties – Pier Luigi Bersani, Secretary of the centre-left Democratic Party, Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of centre-right party, People of Freedom, and out-going Prime Minister Mario Monti – and the name with the most support appears to be the former president of the Senate, Franco Marini. If no agreement is found, there could be several rounds of voting. In the first three rounds, a two-thirds majority is required for a win but in the fourth round a straight majority would be enough.
Beppe Grillo’s 5-Star Movement asked its supporters to choose their favourite candidate in an on-line poll, but the winner (journalist Milena Gabanelli) refused to stand, so the party have now promised to vote for runner-up Stefano Rodotà.