Awaiting White Smoke
Rome-8 May 2006
Voting has begun Monday afternoon to
elect an Italian president to succeed Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
The voting comes after days of negotiations aimed at
achieving the kind of broad support that swept Ciampi into
office seven years ago.
When no such consensus candidate emerged, the incoming
government of Romano Prodi proposed ex-interior minister and
life Senator Giorgio Napolitano in place of their first
choice, Left Democrat Massimo D'Alema, another former
member of the now-defunct Italian Communist Party (PCI).
If elected, Napolitano would be the first ex-Communist in
Italy's highest institutional post.