On Saturday, April 20, 2013, Italy’s Parliament re-elected Giorgio Napolitano to an unprecedented second term as president.
The 87-year-old Napolitano easily surpassed the simple majority required to be elected. He got 738 votes, far more than the 504 needed for victory for another seven-year mandate.
Parliament had a much harder time. It took it three days of balloting to choose a president, reflecting the legislature’s deep polarisation following inconclusive nationwide elections in February.
Napolitano agreed to a second term in office to try to avoid the country going to the polls again despite their inability to form a government in aftermath of February elections.
Earlier Napolitano, citing his advanced age, had repeatedly refused to be a candidate for another term that would see him turn nearly 95 when it runs out. But he explained that he yielded to the appeals out of a sense of responsibility toward the nation.
Giorgio Napolitano was first elected to parliament in 1953, he has been a politician for most of his life. As a politician he focused on European and Atlantic issues and serving as lower house speaker. He was named Life Senator in 2005.