Draghi, Italy’s parties set to back Mattarella as president
Italy’s political parties are converging on a plan to convince outgoing President Sergio Mattarella to remain for a second term after failing to break a political impasse over whom to elect to replace him, according to people familiar with the matter.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi met Mattarella Saturday and discussed this option, asking the 80-year-old to remain for a second term to guarantee the country’s political stability, the people said. Draghi spoke to party leaders expressing the hope that lawmakers will back the plan.
Mattarella received 336 votes on a ballot Friday evening, short of a majority of 505 votes needed, but showing growing support among the 1,009 politicians voting in the presidential election. Voting has been ongoing for several days.
A new term for Mattarella would be the easiest solution as lawmakers would keep their posts until a general election in 2023 and Draghi would remain as head of government.
The outgoing president has repeatedly said he was keen to retire and didn’t want to serve a second term. Seven rounds of inconclusive voting and growing political tensions as the election progresses will put pressure on him to accept another term.
While Draghi has been seen as a favourite for the role, lawmakers have been hesitant to unsettle the fragile majority that supports his unity government, fearing it could increase the risk of political turmoil and early elections.
Party leaders including the League’s Matteo Salvini and Health Minister Roberto Speranza praised the agreement Saturday, directly after the end of the first vote in the day.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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