Rome

Monti, Bersani agree to seek consensus over new president

Outgoing premier, center-left leader discuss 'wise men' findings

Monti, Bersani agree to seek consensus over new president

Rome, April 15 - Center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani and outgoing Premier Mario Monti on Monday said they had agreed to seek "the greatest possible consensus" when selecting the next president of Italy, according to a statement Monday. The two men met Monday to discuss the conclusions of the so-called "10 wise men" appointed by outgoing President Giorgio Napolitano to agree on consensus platforms that all political parties could stomach in order to forge a government following nearly two months of gridlock after inconclusive general elections. On Friday the wise men issued proposals, which included a new election system in which only the Lower House of parliament would have political functions, instead of the current system in which the House and Senate are equally powerful. Napolitano said his group of highly respected political and institutional figures had found "common ground" and that it is now up to the political parties to make a "similar effort of good will for an agreement" to break the deadlock. Parliament, as well as 58 'grand electors' appointed by the regions, will vote for Napolitano's successor later this week as his seven-year term comes to an end in May.

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