Giorgio Napolitano was re-elected as president of Italy in April 2013 - the first time in the history of the Italian republic that an incumbent president had been voted in to serve a second term.
The 87-years-old Mr Napolitano had previously signalled that he was keen to retire and had ruled himself out as a candidate, but after five rounds of voting failed to elect a new president, he was prevailed upon to stand as a consensus candidate in the sixth round.
In that ballot, he secured 738 votes out of a possible total of 1,007 that could be cast by the combined chambers of parliament.
Mr Napolitano's re-election came in the wake of an inconclusive parliamentary election in February 2013 that gave rise to protracted negotiations over the formation of a new government.
During this period, the president came to be seen as a guarantor of stability. However, those pushing for change and a radical shake-up of the old political class saw Mr Napolitano's re-election as a further sign of political stagnation.
Giorgio Napolitano began his first term of office in May 2006, when he was sworn in as Italy's 11th post-war president.
The former member of the Italian Communist Party was among the leading architects of the party's transformation into a social-democratic movement.
The Italian president heads the armed forces and has powers to veto legislation, disband parliament and call elections.
For most of his first term, Mr Napolitano preferred to remain distant from the often treacherous world of Italian parliamentary politics, and so when he did intervene directly - as happened in November 2011, when he issued a not-so-coded message to the political class to examine its conscience and acknowledge collective responsibility for the crisis facing the country - his words carried considerable weight.
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"Italy Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Italy/Government
"Italy Government Stats, NationMaster." 1946-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Italy/Government>.
'Italy Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Italy/Government> [assessed 1946-2014]
"Italy Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1946-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Italy/Government>.
"Italy Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1946-2014.
"Italy Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Italy/Government (assessed 1946-2014)
"Italy Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Italy/Government (last visited 1946-2014)
"Italy Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Italy/Government (as of 1946-2014)
Italy Government Profiles (Subcategories)
- Italy ranked first for total businesses registered > number amongst European Union in 2003.