Rome

Napolitano faces 'difficult challenge in crucial moment'

Re-elected president calls on everyone to 'honour duties'

Napolitano faces 'difficult challenge in crucial moment'

Rome, April 20 - President Giorgio Napolitano said he faced a "difficult challenge at a crucial moment" after being re-elected Italy's head of state on Saturday. He also called on "everyone to honour their duties" to "reinforce the (country's) political institutions". Napolitano agreed to stand for re-election after five previous ballots failed to elect a successor to the 87-year-old because of rifts within the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), the biggest group in parliament. The PD, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, the regionalist Northern League, the Northern League and outgoing Premier Mario Monte's Civic Choice party all backed Napolitano and he was re-elected for a second term with a big majority. He now must get back to working on ending the impasse that Italy has endured since February's inconclusive general election and see which parties are willing to form a government on the basis of a programme drafted by a group of experts. Napolitano said he would give more details about how he intends to set about this on Monday.

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