Wednesday’s presidential vote was inconclusive, just as the first and second were. The fourth ballot tomorrow offers more chance of success as a simple majority of 505 votes is all that is required.
The number of votes in favour of re-electing President Sergio Mattarella increased with respect to the first two ballots, climbing to 125 Italian news agency Ansa reports.
The 1,009 ‘grand electors’, who constitute both parliamentarians and regional representatives, will vote again on Thursday. The ballot this time does not require the two-thirds vote, just a simple majority of 505.
On Tuesday the parties of the centre right – the League, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) and the Brothers of Italy (FdI) party – proposed three possible candidates. They were former education minister and ex-Milan mayor Letizia Moratti, former prosecutor Carlo Nordio and former Senate Speaker and philosopher Marcello Pera.
Enrico Letta, the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), politely said no to those names. He suggested party leaders meet, locking themselves in a room and having only bread and water until they agree on a new president.
FdI leader Giorgio Meloni said she would not take part in any such meeting. Instead, her party split from the rest of the centre right in the third ballot. Rather than cast blank votes, the Fdl votes for their member Guido Crosetto, after the other groups rejected the proposal to vote for Nordio.
Tuesday presidential vote
Crosetto got 114 votes, meaning support for him was greater than FdI’s 63 grand electors. Former Lower House Speaker and centrist politician Pierferdinando Casini got 52.
There is speculation that the centre right want to push for Senate Speaker Elisabetta Casellati to become Italy’s first woman president.
The PD, however, contacted the League to try to convince Salvini’s group not to vote for a centre-right candidate, rather than seeking a consensus figure. Their argument being this could rock the stability of the broad majority supporting Premier Mario Draghi’s executive.