Italy president assigns facilitators to end impasse

Rome, March 31 (IANS) Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has asked 10 experts and political figures to help solve the political impasse stemming from February’s inconclusive general elections.

The figures included the former president of Italy’s Constitutional Court, Valerio Onida, the head of national statistics institute Istat Enrico Giovannini, as well as leading politicians belonging to the main forces in parliament, reports Xinhua.

Napolitano’s decision follows intensive but fruitless meetings with parties Friday to try to reach a consensus after Pier Luigi Bersani, whose center-left coalition was the most voted in the Feb 24-25 elections, failed to persuade the other forces to support a center-Left government.

Earlier Saturday, Napolitano said two groups with “political-institutional and socio-economic” nature would start working Tuesday on a sort of programmatic report while helping him find consensus on a new government.

The 87-year-old president clarified he would remain in office until his term expires May 15, ruling out speculations of early resignation that would allow his successor to call for fresh general voting.

Italy’s president is not allowed to dissolve parliament in the final months of his mandate.

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