Rome

PD ally pushes M5S candidate after Marini flop

Vendola says Rodota' would solve 'short-circuit' with electorate

PD ally pushes M5S candidate after Marini flop

Rome, April 18 - Most Democratic Party (PD) voters want anti-establishment comic Beppe Grillo's candidate Stefano Rodota' as president, Nichi Vendola, leader of the PD's left-wing ally SEL, said after ex-Senate Speaker Franco Marini failed to get an expected majority in the first vote Thursday. If all members of the centre-left PD fail to understand their supporter's thirst for change, Vendola said, there is a "short-circuit" between representatives and the public. Vendola spoke after compromise candidate Marini failed to win the two-thirds majority needed in the first round. That vote showed a deep split in the PD as Marini had the backing of both PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL). The lack of PD support for Marini was seen as a sign that members are tired of political compromises. Many are said to be turning to Rodota', the candidate of Grillo's upstart 5-Star Movement (M5S), which claimed a huge protest vote in the February general election to come in 5% behind the PD and PdL's coalitions, both on 30%. The centre left got a majority in the House but not the equally powerful Senate, leading to a hung parliament. Bersani tried in vain to court Grillo and has repeatedly rebuffed Berlusconi's calls for a left-right grand coalition, amid a stalemate that has last more than 50 days. Vendola said the PD must carry through on its own calls for change. "This country has become intolerant of bad politics," he said "It demands good politics," which means Rodota', he argued.

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