To press Giorgio Napolitano to stand for re-election, as factions within the Democratic Party are now doing is to open Pandora's box. The words being used, 'Continue in office at least until the institutional and political crisis is resolved...' ignore constitutional and political reality.
There is no provision for 'extending' a president's seven-year term. A president can stand for election again but none have done so, none have been encouraged to do so, despite willingness on the part of various presidents in the past. The reason is made plain by the shennanigans of the past few days (months?, years?) Every president is elected in, shall we say idiosyncratic circumstances, capable of unexpected outcomes. Ask Romano Prodi. Giorgio Napolitano's election was by means distasteful to many and by a narrow simple majority on the fourth ballot.
Were he to stand again and fail, as Prodi failed, the delegitimisation of his time in office would be immediate. It is bad enough already; despite media attempts at beatification Napolitano is widely disliked for his politicization of the Presidency and is now recognised as a profoundly polarising head of state. A united Europe and the unity of Italy based on the state redistribution of wealth and power to the South from the North are not uncontentious goals.
Napolitano needs to get out of the kitchen.
After Berlusconi's coalition refused to vote at all in the elections to the Presidency of Italy both today and yesterday, and the Democratic party voted blank, at the fifth attempt to elect a head of state, Giorgio Napolitano has agreed to stand again. Unsurprisingly there is insistence on the secrecy of the ballot being waived and the Democratic Party electors will have their votes traced. Unsurprisingly but disgracefully, that is. We are watching the formalisation of dictatorship here.
The coalition of Berlusconi, Bersani, Monti, and Moroni has elected Giorgio Napolitano as Head of State in Italy. President Napolitano is 88.