Sergio Mattarella elected Italian president

Rome, Jan 31 (IANS) Constitutional judge Sergio Mattarella was elected Italy’s new president Saturday, in the fourth round of balloting held by the Italian parliament in a joint session.

Mattarella, 73, is a member of Italy’s Constitutional Court since 2011. He had entered politics as a Christian Democrat in the 1980s after his brother was killed by the Sicilian mafia, and served as minister in several cabinets.
Mattarella received over 505 votes out of an assembly of 1, 009 lawmakers and regional representatives, Xinhua news agency reported.
His candidacy was promoted by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his centre-left Democratic Party (PD). It received support from all minor centrist and leftist forces in parliament and most lawmakers belonging to junior coalition partner New Centre-Right party.
Mattarella was not backed by two major opposition forces, Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.
Three inconclusive rounds of voting requiring a two-thirds majority had already been held Thursday and Friday.
Mattarella will replace 89-year-old Giorgio Napolitano, who resigned Jan 14.