Grillo pulls out of M5S's online presidential primary

Prodi, Bonino, Fo among nine names left

Grillo pulls out of M5S's online presidential primary

Rome, April 15 - Beppe Grillo on Monday pulled his name from his 5-Star Movement's (M5S) shortlist for an online vote to be its Italian presidential candidate. Former centre-left premier Romano Prodi, former European commissioner Emma Bonino and Nobel Literature Laureate Dario Fo, who has already said he does not want to be head of state, are among the nine names left on the list. The shortlist was the result of a poll last week that just under 50,000 M5S members registered before the end of 2012 were eligible to vote in. They will vote again on Monday to choose between the people on the shortlist and the anti-establishment movement's presidential candidate will be announced Tuesday. The members of the two Houses of Italy's parliament and representatives of the nation's regional governments will start voting to select a successor to President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday. Napolitano's seven-year term ends in the middle of May. Grillo's movement holds the balance of power in parliament after February's inconclusive election and it has refused to enable the established parties to create a new government, saying they have created a corrupt, malfunctioning system. The comedian-turned-political has accused centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani and centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi of wanting to do "shady deals" after they met last week to discuss the new president. However, Bersani and three-time premier Berlusconi do not appear to be close to agreeing on a consensus candidate to be the next head of state.

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