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President calls for national elections on February 24

Napolitano says month most suitable time for voting

President calls for national elections on February 24

Rome, December 19 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Wednesday that February 24 seems the most suitable date for voters to go to the polls. In a statement, the president said that date for a vote was in the "best interests of the country" and would "not excessively prolong the campaign". Napolitano said the interior ministry had considered issues around the technical requirements for Italians voting abroad and agreed that the February date was suitable. Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's Party of Freedom (PdL) has argued the vote should be delayed until March to be sure Italians abroad can vote. Critics say that PdL is merely stalling to give them more time to prepare. Napolitano on Wednesday rejected Berlusconi's contention that there was an unnecessary "rush" to vote, saying the election campaign should not be "prolonged excessively".

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