Rome

First ballot to elect Italian president begins

Vote expected to take four-five hours

First ballot to elect Italian president begins

Rome, April 18 - Lawmakers from the Upper and Lower House of parliament and representatives of Italy's regional governments on Thursday's started the first ballot to elect a new president. A majority of two thirds of the 1007 voters is needed for a candidate be elected head of state in the first three ballots, which are held in the House. After that a simple majority of over half is required. Each ballot is expected to take four or five hours. There will be two ballots per day until a successor to President Giorgio Napolitano is elected.

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