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Italy “Elects” A Hardline Communist President

From Communist China’s Xinhua:

Prodi (R) with another leader of Italy’s Communist Party, Enrico Berlinguer.

Center-left Napolitano elected Italy’s next president

2006-05-10 23:28:19

ROME, May 10 (Xinhua) — Italy’s center-left candidate Giorgio Napolitano, was elected the country’s 11th postwar president on Wednesday, paving the way for the premier-elect Romano Prodi to form a government.

The 80-year-old life Senator won 543 votes, well above the minimum 505-vote mark, during the fourth round by more than 1,000 voters to become the first former Communist to win the position.

Napolitano, a former interior minister and House speaker, is the second-oldest president to take office after Sandro Pertini, who was elected in 1978 at the age of 82.

The president-elect is to succeed President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, 85, whose seven-year mandate expires on May 18.

Italy’s president is elected in a joint session by deputies, senators and representatives of the country’s 20 regions, totaling 1,010 voters.

Under the Constitution, the first three ballots require a two-thirds majority to win. If the voting produces no such majority, the rules relax to a straight majority from the fourth ballot on.

The electors began voting on Monday and the previous three rounds went without a decision. By contrast, outgoing President Ciampi was elected on the first ballot.

In Italy, the president is a largely ceremonial figure who has the task of giving mandates to try to put together new governments. The head of state is traditionally seen as a unifying figuring in Italy.

Napolitano’s victory also paved the way for center-left leader Prodi to get a mandate to form a government, following his narrow victory in the April parliamentary elections.

Prodi told reporters earlier on Wednesday that he expected to obtain a mandate between Sunday and Tuesday, with a confidence vote by May 23.

However, the outgoing premier Silvio Berlusconi refused to give his backing for Napolitano, arguing that his past as a member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) made him an "unacceptable" candidate.

Berlusconi raised the same objection to the center-left’s first candidate, the former premier and chairman of the Democratic Left party Massimo D’Alema.

The Democratic Left, of which Napolitano is also a member, is the largest party in Prodi’s coalition and the main heir to the PCI.

"The center-left was united. I’m sorry that the center right failed to understand that Napolitano is truly a president for all Italians. It was a lost opportunity," Prodi said after the vote.

The joke is that it’s not just the ChiComs who are calling Prodi "center-left" but our one party media as well. (As if there is a real difference in their outlook, anyway.)

A little background on Prodi courtesy of Wikipedia:

Giorgio Napolitano

Giorgio Napolitano (born June 29, 1925 in Naples), an Italian politician and lifetime Senator, is the president-elect of the Italian Republic. He was elected as the eleventh President of the Italian Republic on May 10, 2006.

A graduate in law, Napolitano was active in the opposition against the nazi-fascist troops, founding in 1942 an anti-fascist and communist group which took part in several actions against the occupying forces.

In 1945, after the end of the World War II, Napolitano joined the Italian Communist Party and was first elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1953. Subsequently, Napolitano was elected to the National Committee of the party, becoming one of its most influential leaders until its disbandment in 1991

Just out of curiosity, was there anyone in Europe who didn’t fight against the Nazis?

I’m amazed they did so well for so long.

Lest we forget, here is photo of some of the stolen ballots that were found in Rome the morning after the Communists stole the election:

Italian police inspect ballot boxes found in the street in Rome.

Where’s the outrage?

Oh, that’s right. He’s a Communist.

So it’s fine as pie.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 10th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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