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Mario Draghi and the murky quest to find Italy’s next president
Nicholas Farrell
Mario Draghi and the murky quest to find Italy’s next president

In ancient Rome, a diviner called a haruspex would observe the entrails of sacrificed sheep and poultry, especially their livers, to deduce the will of the gods. But even the finest haruspex would have a hard time deducing the will of the 951 parliamentarians and 58 regional delegates – the so-called grandi elettori – whose task this week is to elect Italy’s 13th president. Italian presidents, who serve for seven years, have largely ceremonial powers and their election is normally of little importance. This time, however, depending on the result, there could be at least one and possibly two seismic knock-on effects. First, the presidential election could force a snap general election which if the opinion polls are correct would see the coalition of the right return to power on its own for the first time since Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign in 2011.

Mario Draghi and the murky quest to find Italy’s next president
Nicholas Farrell
Mario Draghi and the murky quest to find Italy’s next president

In ancient Rome, a diviner called a haruspex would observe the entrails of sacrificed sheep and poultry, especially their livers, to deduce the will of the gods. But even the finest haruspex would have a hard time deducing the will of the 951 parliamentarians and 58 regional delegates – the so-called grandi elettori – whose task this week is to elect Italy’s 13th president. Italian presidents, who serve for seven years, have largely ceremonial powers and their election is normally of little importance. This time, however, depending on the result, there could be at least one and possibly two seismic knock-on effects. First, the presidential election could force a snap general election which if the opinion polls are correct would see the coalition of the right return to power on its own for the first time since Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign in 2011.

Mario Draghi and the murky quest to find Italy’s next president

Yesterday

25 Jan 2022