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Presidential election impasse continues as Italy lawmakers cast mostly blank ballots

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

The second round of Italy's presidential election has produced the same verdict as that of the first round. Lawmakers, most of whom have cast blank ballots, are struggling to agree on a consensus candidate.

The political stalemate continues. On Tuesday, also a second round of voting to elect Italy's president of the Republic proved inconclusive with a vast majority of the 1009 grand electors casting blank ballots, as they did in Monday's first round.

Italian political parties have so far failed to find an agreement on a consensus candidate.

Meetings between party leaders have continued behind the scenes and although current Prime Minister Mario Draghi - backed by remains the most likely contender, a deal on the figure that unites the country is still far from being reached.

Prime Minister Draghi is reportedly trying to persuade political leaders to support his candidacy as Italy's next president. However a large number of lawmakers oppose this idea fearing that if Draghi is elected head of State, it could lead to early elections.

Also on Tuesday the rightist alliance made up of the League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia proposed three possible presidential candidates, The League leader Matteo Salvini has repeatedly warned that if Draghi leaves the role of prime minister the multi-party ruling coalition would likely split raising the risk of snap elections.

It is very unlikely that a new president will be elected before Thursday. A majority of two-thirds of the grand electors is needed to vote in a new head of state in the first three ballots. From the fourth round, so as of Thursday, an absolute majority would be sufficient. 

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