Sergio Mattarella, re-elected President of the Republic, was sworn in before the Italian Parliament

The Italian President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, was sworn in during a ceremony with great pomp in Parliament on Thursday 3 February. Despite his initial reluctance to re-election for a new term, he was re-elected on Saturday for a second seven-year term, after a parliamentary marathon. “For me, it was a new, unexpected call to responsibility, which I cannot and I did not want to escape”he said in the presence of parliamentarians and the head of government, Mario Draghi.

For a while, the latter had been given the favourite. But the parties in the coalition government failed to agree on a common candidacy, and so turned to the incumbent president as a last resort.

Sergio Mattarella, a figure of Christian democracy, was a deputy for 25 years and five times a minister. In 2008, he left the head of the Ministry of Defense to become a judge at the Constitutional Court. Pledge of stability, Sergio Mattarella, 80, had finally agreed on Saturday to put himself “available” of the great voters in this ballot with twists and turns.

“The prolongation of a state of deep political uncertainty and tension” could have “endanger (…) the prospects for the recovery of the country, committed to getting out of a moment of great difficulty”said the re-elected president, interrupted many times by rounds of applause.

In Italy, the post of President of the Republic is largely ceremonial. He still has an important role in the event of a political crisis, since he can dissolve Parliament, appoint the Prime Minister and refuse the mandate to govern to coalitions that he considers too fragile. The re-election of Sergio Mattarella, in this sense, therefore ensures a certain stability at the top of the state. The government coalition, however, is still fragile: the League was absent from the Council of Ministers on Wednesday evening to express its disagreement with certain measures.

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