There had been some hope that the political vacuum in Italy would normalize after the fourth balloting round of presidential voting, in which the candidate agreed upon by both Bersani and Berlusconi, former trade union leader Franco Marini, would be elected with a simple majority, following a failure to elect one in the first three rounds. Marini had been in the lead with 521 votes but short of the two-third majority needed, or 672, to win the vote. Those hopes have now been dashed following news, coming from a tweet by the PDL's Maurizio Gasparri, that Berlusconi's PDL and its ally Northern League will not take part in the vote. This means that Marini will no longer have even the 504 votes needed to get elected with a simple majority and that the entire spectacle was nothing but empty theater. And so the ongoing total political chaos and vacuum in Italy remains.
@ilpdl non partecipa alla quarta votazione per il presidente della repubblica, Bersanicon Prodi spacca l'Italia e viola la parola data— Maurizio Gasparri (@gasparripdl) April 19, 2013