President Sergio Mattarella is set to rethink his retirement and stay as head of state. Majority whips said he was willing to be re-elected in an eighth presidential vote Saturday evening.
Majority whips left the Quirinale presidential palace saying only “it went well” after a meeting in which they asked the 80-year-old president to agree to serve a second term, Ansa reported.
“President Mattarella obviously said he was willing “to be re-elected” said Südtiroler Volkspartei Senate Whip Julia Unterberger. Mixed caucus whip Loredana De Petris said Mattarella “told us he had other plans, that he thought his mandate was over, but that he has always been respectful of parliament”.
Centre-left Democratic Party (PD) leader Enrico Letta said “I want to say a big thank you to President Mattarella for the choice which is a choice of generosity towards the country and is today fundamental, important and necessary. I think it is a beautiful day for Italy and important for Italian politics.
“They have been difficult days, full of tension, which have shown a blocked, stopped, politics, playing with personal issues, not able to deal with real, concrete issues, to find solutions. Our country needs a political renewal and rules, and to enter a new phase”.
He added “I think the government emerges stronger because the government majority made a very complicated choice, it could have split but it stayed united. We did a good job together…the premier emerges stronger because he has beside him a president who gave him strength over the last 11 months”.
Mattarella re-election almost certain
The re-election of the incumbent president now appears certain in the eighth presidential ballot. The casting of votes started at half past four with the result expected at around dinner time this evening.
Draghi reportedly told Mattarella and party leaders it was right for the head of state to remain in place “for the good and stability of the country”, sources said.