Italy’s newly re-elected President Giorgio Napolitano jumped straight into urgent talks on Tuesday with the aim of naming a new prime minister as soon as possible.
The 87-year-old is hoping to end two months of post election deadlock that has left the country unable to make vital reforms and alarmed the international partners of the eurozone’s third largest economy.
The rapid round of consultations, with the Senate and house representatives, have not involved any party leaders.
The speculation of who Napolitano might choose has fallen on two principal candidates:
Firstly two time prime minister Giuliano Amato, a veteran of the centre-left who was also interior minister in the Prodi government.
Secondly Matteo Renzi, the Mayor of Florence who is tipped as the next leader of the Democratic Party filling the void left by Pier Luigi Bersani.
He resigned last week, after being unable to reach agreements with with Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom party or Beppe Grillo’s 5-star movement.
Berlusconi has indicated he would be willing to support Renzi however.
The Democratic Party earned a majority in the lower house but failed to win control of the senate after February’s vote.