Italy's presidential election set to start

Baku, January 24, AZERTAC

Lawmakers from both houses of parliament and regional representatives start voting to elect Italy's new president at 15:00 on Monday, according to ANSA.

Most of 1009 'grand electors' are expected to cast blank papers in the first ballot with no deal so far between the major political parties on who should replace President Sergio Mattarella, whose seven-year term is coming to an end.

There is set to be one vote a day and a majority of two-thirds of the grand electors, 673, is needed to vote in a new president in the first three ballots.

After which a simple majority of 505 is sufficient.

On Saturday ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi announced he would not stand amid staunch opposition to him taking the top job from the Democratic Party (PD) and the 5-Star Movement (M5S).

The PD and the M5S said the president should be a more impartial figure.

Under the Constitution, the head of State acts as a sort of referee of Italian politics and the role is especially important at times of political crisis.

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