Romano Prodi’s coalition has resumed its search for a President to govern Italy, but the hunt could prove to be a long one.
The Prime-minister-in-waiting has put forward the name of 80 year old Giorgio Napolitano to take the largely ceremonial post. Napolitano proved a safe pair of hands as speaker of the lower house during the Clean Hands corruption scandal – but as a former member of the Communist Party, is considered unacceptable by many on the right of Italian politics. Former Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema has already been rejected for the same reason. He argues that Napolitano should now be accepted. “The opposition asked for a personality with experience of the political set up” he said. “Georgio Napolitano is a life senator, he was speaker of the lower house, all we’re waiting for now is that the centre right shows maturity and coherence and votes for him and that’s it.” But former Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi shows no sign of wanting to play the game. He plans to put up a rival candidate of his own – a strategy that could lead to several rounds of voting before the Presidential post is filled.