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Italy leftist Vendola urges president to ask Bersani to form government
March 20, 2013 / 5:33 PM / 4 years ago

Italy leftist Vendola urges president to ask Bersani to form government

Nichi Vendola, leader of SEL (Left Ecology Freedom) party and governor of the southern Italian region of Puglia speaks during a news conference at the foreign press club in downtown Rome, December 10, 2010.Tony Gentile

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Left Ecology Liberty party leader Nichi Vendola, a partner in the center-left coalition, said on Wednesday he told the country's president that Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani should be asked to try to form a government.

Vendola spoke after meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano, who began consultations with party leaders earlier on Wednesday for the formation of a government. The talks will continue on Thursday, ending with Bersani at 1 p.m. ET.

"The attempt to offer the country a program and a government that can interpret the desire for change in the most innovative way should be up to Bersani. That is what we told the head of state," Vendola told reporters.

The PD won control of the lower house in last month's election, but not the Senate, and both are needed to govern. Bersani has ruled out an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's center-right and has been trying to woo support from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement led by Beppe Grillo.

Reporting by Steve Scherer

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