Voting begins for the presidential election in Italy
The first round of voting for the next president of Italy and the successor of Sergio Mattarella has started today, without a clear candidate after the withdrawal of the candidacy of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Elections will be an unprecedented issue, due to the coronavirus pandemic that affects the way voters will vote.
Due to COVID-19, the election procedures underwent several changes, including a special car voting area that has been set up in the parliament parking lot for positive or quarantined voters.
1009 MPs and regional special representatives will vote for Mattarella's successor in a secret ballot that could continue for several rounds before a candidate is elected.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has indicated he is ready to run for office. The race has been strained since Berlusconi withdrew his candidacy on Saturday, claiming he had enough votes to win but that the country could not cope with political divisions.
With a seven-year term, the Italian head of state is a largely ceremonial post, but also requires political ingenuity and constitutional knowledge to lead Italy through its political crises.