Italy's President Napolitano Resigns: What Happens Next

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago, Italy's 89-year-old president Giorgio Napolitano resigned, as had been expected.

Here, courtesy of Bloomberg, is what happens next.

Giorgio Napolitano, Italy’s longest-serving president, resigned before the end of a second 7-year presidential term. Napolitano accepted 2nd term in 2013 after parliament failed to elect his successor for days, had signaled from start he wouldn’t have served another full mandate.

When will Napolitano’s successor be elected?

  • Parliament, together with 58 regional delegates that have yet to be appointed, has to meet within 15 days to  elect successor.
  • Procedure can take several days as max 2 rounds of voting are held each day
  • While some presidents, such as Francesco Cossiga in 1985, were chosen in one day, the election of Giovanni Leone in 1971 took 23 rounds of voting

How does vote work?

  • Presidential election is held in Parliament in roll-call vote of more than 1,000 lawmakers and regional officials

Ballot is secret

  • To win in first 3 rounds the candidate must secure 2/3 of as many as 1,009 potential votes; from 4th round simple majority of 505 electors is required
  • Senate speaker Pietro Grasso acts as caretaker president until a new head of state is elected
  • Napolitano becomes now senator for life

Why Napolitano’s resignation poses challenge for Premier Matteo Renzi?

  • Renzi needs head of state willing to support his reform agenda and dissolve parliament at his request if he finds himself in position to push for early elections

How are electors split?

  • Without taking into account 58 regional officials from various parties who have yet to be appointed by local councils, Renzi’s Democratic party has 415 electors, while former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party has 130 and Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement has 137
  • Majority that supports govt, which includes Renzi’s PD, New Center-Right and Civic Choice, would have enough votes to elect a president from 4th round, assuming there are no defections
  • PD failed to elect its candidate for president Romano Prodi in April 2013 after reportedly more than 100 defections among the center-left coalition
  • Renzi would also have enough votes to elect president from  4th round if he strikes deal with either Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party or Grillo’s movement, which are both at the opposition

What is the role of Italy’s president?

  • The president, whose term lasts 7 years, is the head of the armed force and can reject laws that he considers unconstitutional
  • While he’s often seen as a ceremonial figure, he also has the power to dissolve parliament, designate prime minister candidates and call early elections

What will be Napolitano’s remembered for?

  • During his 9-yr tenure, Napolitano has been regarded as the guarantor of stability amid unstable governments and Italy’s longest recession since World War II
  • During financial crisis in 2011, Napolitano fended off risk of bailout by appointing former European Commissioner Mario Monti to lead govt of non politicians to reassure markets after Berlusconi’s majority crumbled amid record high bond yields

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Haus-Targaryen's picture

Ok Mr. Draghi, time to turn in your resignation.  

Good riddance. 

Headbanger's picture

And if only Obongo would do it too!

GetZeeGold's picture



What Happens Next many Mulligans do they have left?

winchester's picture
winchester (not verified) negative rates Jan 14, 2015 8:41 AM

Ok Mr. Draghi, time to turn in your resignation.  


And if only Obongo would do it too!


illusions are dangerous cause they're flawless....

Ghordius's picture

what a delicious rumour, the one of Draghi becoming Prez of Italy. though it has little to do with how the Italian parliament usually appoints it

as a reminder, Draghi was appointed to the ECB after the Italian PM Berlusconi convinced the French Prez Sarkozy

and here, Berlusconi is still somewhat the "kingmaker" (much to the chagrin of his greatest enemy of all times, Rupert Murdoch). So the usual expectation would be that the next Prez will be a long-standing member of the parliament, with moderate political views, satisfying both the Left and the Right about his impartiality. as the Italian Constitution actually intended

for that, Draghi is too beholden to the conservatives and too equivocal if not controversial

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I don't really care if its a rumor, but with the Greek elections, a Draghi resignation would be timed perfectly.  

GetZeeGold's picture



Draghi becoming Prez of Italy


Heh heh.......really?

Ghordius's picture

you really don't need to be involved in a sex scandal in order to be appointed or elected, in Italy

but anyway, the old sex-scandal rumour around the resigning president Napolitano is that he was the King's unrecognized bastard. had it from a taxi-driver in Rome, so it must be true

GetZeeGold's picture



you really don't need to be involved in a sex scandal in order to be appointed or elected, in Italy


Probably not.........but why take the fun out of it?



Ghordius's picture

don't know, ask the Americans or the Brits. for some reasons they treat a sex-scandal as the terminal political death knell, or so I understand

GetZeeGold's picture



We got over Reggie Love.....who says America isn't up with the times?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

Ghordius, you condone sex with children? or did you mis speak? (I think you know full well judgement and in fact criminal acts, in one's personal life is a reflection of how one governs..)

Ghordius's picture

did I? in any way? well, no, I do not condone of sex with children. I completely forgot that one, my bad

I was talking about the more mundane kind of sex-scandal involving adults. private affairs

I was thinking more about things like French presidents having to sort out which mistress is now the "official" one, something that would be unthinkable in the US or the UK

now find a way to reconcile the two: the prurient having scandals involving children and the less prurients having affairs with adults without political consequences

sometimes I have the vague feeling that being a continental, here on ZH, is like being the most alien being ever landing from Mars

take the word "children". some family I have in the US, they say "kids" and extend that term and it's connotations to even the 16 or 17 year olds. odd, from my perspective

Sandmann's picture

I think you should familiarise yourself with Lloyd George "The Goat", and certainly with Dorothy Macmillan wife of Harold Macmillan and 'Bob' forget also FDR dying in the arms of his mistress and J F  Kennedy and William Clinton.......Helmut Kohl and Helmut Schmidt who both had mistresses when in office

Sandmann's picture

yes Ghordius because 17 year olds are minors in the US AND Europe and Statutory Rape carries a heavy might look at Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Roberts

Ghordius's picture

which Europe? there are 28+ jurisdictions. in many of them, a 17 year old and a 19 year old are, for example, not included. further, the penalties differ. in others, above 16 is treated differently from below 16. seriously, what is it about the thing? I was talking about mundane, non consequential stuff, and here comes the Charge of the Light Brigade

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

well well Ghordius, how continental of you..but exploitation of even young so called adults - does not differ all that much from what the criminal pols and bankster do to all of us every day..they fuck us all ..and ask our tolerance of muslem killers at the same time, but then, you think tolerance is the highest virtue.

you get to swallow a lot being tolerant. me do not call it rain while you piss on my head.

Ghordius's picture

did I have anything to do with US laws on usury being relentless degraded? did I stand up and say that every American ought to have a home? did I legislate in the US that student debt can't be defaulted? Did I legislate that US citizens might be offered nearly unlimited credit through credit cards that can, eventually, go up over 40%?

don't look at me if the US pols are corrupt and leave the US banksters rip off the US population. this is a damn article about european politics, remember?

damn if projection isn't powerful, here and today

I do hope you do realize that the financial enslavement of the US population is an exceptional American affair that has only begun, elsewhere, because of relentless American bankster pressure, and that I am against it

just lately, I was discussing with a Brit that the UK has student debt, but it has very low levels of what students can't borrow, for example

usually, when Americans get into financial problems, either their health or their education is involved. for both, we have "socialist" solutions, here, remember? not involving damn banksters in any way

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

yes I know that..what your pols do is mostly your business, although germany has a special relationship with my government, after WWII which none of us is fully informed on.

we can express our diff views and you do it very well and I value your kind rebutal ,but exploitation  sexual or otherwise cannot be condoned.

I think we may view each other as the American and the brit in vienna in orson well's "The Thin Man"..

PontifexMaximus's picture

Draghi will not resign, he is the most powerful person in Europe, forget it once for ever. What will happen in Italy? Niente succederà, proprio niente! Probably Berlusconi or one of his paladines or the left with another nonvaleur. Still a nice country, but still an open settlement with Angela. And as everybody knows, she is culo e camicia with Draghi, time will tell.

Tarshatha's picture

"Ok Mr. Draghi, time to turn in your resignation.  

Good riddance. "


Haus, is it that bloody obvious to everyone?

lolmao500's picture

Yeah but does the next president likes spaghetti and pizzas?

sodbuster's picture

Does Goldman Sacks pick his successor?

GetZeeGold's picture




In a perfect world......

lolmao500's picture

In other news, that old fuck ruling Saudi Arabia died today... so let the game begins!

MarketAnarchist's picture

Nothing could be more irrelevant.   The titanic has already hit the iceberg, and they are focused on who gets to wear the captains hat.

Rory_Breaker's picture

Look those deck chairs need arranging

tonyhollow's picture

The Saudi king did not die today. Fact check your Internet hoaxes. 


B2u's picture

Why does he wear a picnic table cloth around his head?

Ghordius's picture

because Saudi women find them sexy. which is something valid about all men's clothes, everywhere. perhaps Saudi women love to have "picnics" among the dunes, under the stars? I could think about many ways I could use such a headgear for romantic purposes

RaceToTheBottom's picture

So basically, he is like a boy scout, always prepared for a picnic.


SpanishGoop's picture

Draghi for president.

Of Italy that is.


vyeung's picture

Looks like the Draghi event is happening.

GetZeeGold's picture



You know what that means don't you? conference time!!!

Bahamas's picture

Probably the best payed political burocrat in the whole world. Himself has been costing Italian taxpayers 4 times more per year  that the entire Buckingham Palace has to English ones to mantain, and still he was caught with his hands in the jar staling with airfare tickets charging the E.U. taxpayers. 

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists's picture

Goldman Sachs employees are lining up to replace this guy. 

falak pema's picture

89 and still drinking wine on account of the Presidency ! 

About time he paid for his own bottles like the rest of us! 

As for his successor : according to old papal custom, they will all have to come in their undies before the selection committee and display their family jewels like in a Borgian orgy.

The winner of course will be : Mr "Mine is biggest"-- ( which means in practical terms I'm up for sale to the highest bidder when it comes to voting or string pulling).

Thats what's been the rule in Italy since the Treaty of Lodi ! 

Baby Eating Dingo22's picture

Is this supposed to be news of some market disconcert?

He was one sneeze away from death anyway

Sandmann's picture

Have to be a Communist like Napolitano........but perhaps Piero Grasso is the guy who will carry on after the election ?

PontifexMaximus's picture

Speriamo di NO, kuel pirla di turno!!

Ghordius's picture

what happened to the Italian Q? long time ago I learned a different spelling