A day after saying “only a mentally ill person” would want to rule Italy, leftist Pier Luigi Bersani said Thursday he had failed to form a government.
It was now up to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to find a prime minister after last month’s inconclusive general elections created a leadership vacuum in the country.
"I told the president that (my attempt) had not found a solution and at this point the president decided to immediately verify the situation himself," Bersani was quoted by Reuters as saying after meeting with Napolitano.
Napolitano will “personally check the possible developments in the political-institutional framework,” Donato Marra, general secretary for the head of state, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
The announcement came after Bersani tried in vain to persuade other parties to support him, proposing a limited program of urgent reforms in exchange for their backing.
Bersani’s Democratic Party won the February poll by a narrow margin, but lacked the upper house majority needed to form government.
The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, founded by former comedian Beppe Grillo, refused to back Bersani, who himself had dismissed invitations from former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom party to form a coalition government.
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