Italian presidential vote to test Renzi government's stability

January 29th, 2015  
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Topic: Italian presidential vote to test Renzi government's stability

By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - The unity of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's party and the strength of his alliance on reforms with opposition rival Silvio Berlusconi will be tested on Thursday with a parliamentary vote to choose a new president. Though historically a largely ceremonial figure, the Italian head of state has important powers at times of political instability, a frequent occurrence in Italy, as he or she can dissolve parliament, call elections, and pick prime ministers. After two days of consultations with political factions, Renzi has chosen Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge and a former defense minister for the center, as his candidate and will announce it to his Democratic Party (PD) electors in a meeting before voting begins, a PD source told Reuters.


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