Italy's parliament failed to elect a new state president in the first two votes on Thursday with a centre-left rebellion against leader Pier Luigi Bersani torpedoing his official candidate and prolonging a political stalemate.
Italian centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani confirmed he would meet his centre-right rival Silvio Berlusconi soon, but held out little hope of a breakthrough in the political stalemate since February's inconclusive election.
The head of Italy's centre-left bloc has hit an impasse in his efforts to form a government and said only a mentally ill person would want to govern Italy now. Pier Luigi Bersani was rebuffed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement on Wednesday.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano appealed to political leaders to work together to form a government, but his appeal fell on deaf ears and pressure grew for a new poll after last month's deadlocked election. The situation is dominated by the ‘Grilusconi’ phenomenon which mustered a 55% protest vote.
Italy faced political deadlock on Tuesday after a stunning election that saw the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comic Beppe Grillo become the strongest party in the country and left no political group with a clear majority in parliament. The protest vote is also a clear signal of the failure of the EU-German sponsored austerity measures which were implemented by the government of the non-elected technocrat government of Mario Monti.