Turin, April 15 - Gianroberto Casaleggio, the guru behind the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comedian Beppe Grillo, said the party would back former centre-left premier Romano Prodi if enough members supported him in an online vote. "We will always support the decisions of the Movement, so if the Movement chooses Prodi, we'll vote for him," said Casaleggio, backtracking on earlier statements. Hours earlier Casalegio said that M5S shouldn't choose any of the political candidates that had been shortlisted, which would rule out Prodi as well as former European commissioner and Radical Party heavyweight Emma Bonino. In an online poll Monday, the M5S voted on a shortlist of candidates to replace Giorgio Napolitano as Italian president next month, with no deal in sight between the top parties that emerged from an inconclusive February general election. The Italian media are looking at the party vote, whose results will come out Tuesday, for an idea of what a possible consensus candidate could be for the two parties that came out just ahead of Grillo in the general election, Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.
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di Giovanni Pastore