The entire parliamentary arc, apart from Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party which had Carlo Nordio as its presidential candidate, indicated Sergio Mattarella as a candidate that would be re-elected as head of state. All this after a week of skirmishes, negotiations, no agreements, announcements, and tearing from one side to the other.
The leaders were unable to find a solution and sent the parliamentary group leaders to ask Mattarella for an encore. The plea was accepted, and the results of the eighth vote after days in which, vote after vote, his name grew exponentially, the President of the Republic was elected in the form of Sergio Mattarella.
How We Got to the Mattarella Bis
The Mattarella bis became the only possible way after the cross-party vetoes and the rupture of the center-right who wanted to prove the candidacy of the President of the Chamber, Mari E. Casellati, then President Belloni as Head of the Secret Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
When the leaders finally realized that they didn’t have the numbers to do it alone, nor the ability to find a super party name that could have wide support, the most natural choice was to take refuge from the highest institution of the republic – the outgoing President who, despite having spent the last few months reiterating how important it was not to fall back into the temptation of an encore, as happened with the past president Napolitano, was forced to accept and allow Parliament, political leaders, and the country to get out of this stalemate.
Presidents Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati (of the Senate) and Robert Fico (of the Chamber) to the Quirinale announced the victory of Mattarella. Said President Mattarella in his message at the end of the meeting with the Presidents of the Senate: “I thank the Presidents of the Chamber and the Senate for their communication.
“I would like to thank the parliamentarians and the delegates of the regions for the trust expressed in me.”
“The difficult days spent for the election to the Presidency of the Republic during the serious emergency that we are still going through – on the health, economic, social side – call for a sense of responsibility and respect for the decisions of Parliament. These conditions require not shirking the duties to which one is called, and, of course, must prevail over other considerations and different personal perspectives, with the commitment to interpret the expectations and hopes of our fellow citizens.”
Prime Minister Mario Draghi said he was grateful to the president for his choice to comply with the wishes of Parliament, saying: “The re-election of Sergio Mattarella as President of the Republic is splendid news for Italians. I am grateful to the President for his choice to support the very strong will of Parliament to re-elect him for a second term.”
The Pope Weighs In
Part of Bergoglio’s (Pope Francis’) telegram message to Mattarella was, “His (Mattarella) essential service [is] to consolidate unity.” The Pope spoke of the “spirit of generous availability” with which he welcomed the re-election in this time of pandemic and uncertainty and reconfirmed the current head of state for another 7. He offered his “cordial congratulations on his re-election to the supreme office of the Italian Republic” and expressed his “best wishes for the performance of his high task.”
Congratulations From Around the Globe
President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, congratulated Mattarella and said: “Italy can always count on the EU.” The Northern League leader Salvini said: “Alliance needs to be clarified,” and US President Joe Biden assured that the 2 leaders (Mattarella and Draghi) will continue the “efforts to further strengthen the ties between the United States and Italy and face the common challenges. Congratulations to President Sergio Mattarella on his re-election.”
The President of France, Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron, said: “Best wishes Sergio for your re-election. I am counting on you for a strong Europe. I know I can count on your commitment to live the friendship between our countries and this united, strong, and prosperous Europe that we are building.” He added a photo of the evolution of the acrobatic patrols of Italy and France on the occasion of the signing of the Quirinal Treaty to his tweet, saying: “Long live the friendship between Italy and France!”
The official swearing in of Italy President Mattarella will take place on February 3, 2022, at 3:30 pm.