Rome

Pranksters vote showgirl and classic comedy character

Valeria Marini, Amici Miei gagster, Veronica Lario backed by 1

Pranksters vote showgirl and classic comedy character

Rome, April 18 - A parliamentary prankster didn't take Thursday's first vote for Italian president seriously, nominating a showgirl who shares the surname of the pre-ballot favourite, ex-Senate Speaker Franco Marini. Voluptuous TV and movie star Valeria Marini got one vote, as did a well-loved character in Mario Monicelli's classic 1975 movie comedy Amici Miei (My Friends), fictional practical joker 'Count' Raffaello Mascetti. Marini joined a past group of celebrity hoax nominees including Sophia Loren who garnered one vote in 1992. Others to gain a joke vote Thursday included the estranged wife of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, Veronica Lario, and former showgirl and ex-equal opportunities minister Mara Carfagna. The ballot for the former Berlusconi minister was scrapped, however, because she did not meet the required age of 50. The first round of voting produced a shock as Franco Marini was not elected because of a split in his centre-left Democratic Party.

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