Rome

Napolitano should enjoy being granddad, says M5S house whip

President, 87, has dismissed calls to serve a second term

Napolitano should enjoy being granddad, says M5S house whip

Rome, April 11 - Roberta Lombardi, the House whip of comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), on Thursday said Giorgio Napolitano should be allowed to enjoy retirement instead of serving a second term as president of the republic. ''From what I have seen of the president I think he has the right to enjoy his old age and to be a granddad,'' said Lombardi, 39, whose movement is in the process of identifying its own candidate for the next president through an online vote. ''Let's let him go, he is 87 years old, he should enjoy old age,'' she repeated. Parliament is due to convene in a joint session from April 18 to elect a successor to Napolitano, whose seven-year mandate expires in mid-May. Political parties are locked in negotiations over who should replace him, with no clear candidates yet emerging. Some would like to see Napolitano serve a second term in office but the incumbent president has repeatedly ruled out this possibility.

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