Italy still saw no new president

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Italian lawmakers failed today, for the second day in a row, to elect a new head of state, as conservative proposals were rejected by the center-left and party leaders are making further efforts to find a candidate with whom a consensus can be reached. .

After an unsuccessful vote Monday, most lawmakers again handed out blank ballots today, a way to prolong the procedure as their leaders decide what to do.

Although Prime Minister Mario Draghi is still the favorite, concerns that his promotion to president could lead to the fall of his coalition government and the start of early national elections have clouded his prospects, according to the British agency.

After several days of consultative meetings, the center-right parties, Liga, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia, came out today with the names of former Senate President Marcello Pere, former Education Minister and Milan Mayor Leticia Moratti and Carlo Nordi, a retired judge as potential candidates.

The center-left bloc quickly responded that the proposed candidates were unacceptable and called for talks with the center-right on Wednesday to resolve the dispute, which risks destabilizing Italy as it struggles to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and rebuild its shaky economy.

"Our proposal is to lock ourselves in the room and throw the keys, only with bread and water, until we reach a final solution," said Enrico Leta, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party (DP).

About 1.000 members of both houses of parliament - the House of Representatives and the Senate - and representatives of the autonomous regions and provinces began voting Monday afternoon to elect Sergio Matarella's successor, and the winner of the secret ballot needs a two-thirds majority in every three rounds. .

Voting is repeated until one of the candidates receives sufficient votes.

The center-right has more voters than the center-left bloc, but neither side has enough votes to vote for its own candidate, which means a compromise will be needed.

Incumbent Prime Minister Mario Draghi is considered the favorite, and among those considered potential candidates are former House of Commons Speaker Pierre Ferdinando Cassini, former Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and Senate President Maria Elisabeta Alberti Casellati.