Italian parliament proposes presidential vote in car park for COVID cases

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Lawmakers who have tested positive for COVID-19 could be allowed to vote for Italy’s next president in a parliamentary car park, the lower house speaker’s office said , provided the government gives them a special permit to leave their homes.

Over 1,000 members of parliament and regional delegates will begin voting on Jan. 24 for the successor of president Sergio Mattarella.

The proposal to use the car park was outlined after a meeting between the lower house speaker, Roberto Fico, and the lower house party leaders, who asked to ensure that everyone has the right to vote.

Around 35 lawmakers have currently tested positive for the virus or are under isolation – parliamentary sources told Reuters – and this could have an impact on the majority needed to pick a new head of state.

It is now up to the government to formally approve a temporary waiver to isolation rules for those who want to vote, the speaker’s office said.

A two-third majority is required to secure an election in any of the first three ballots. Thereafter, a simple majority is needed.

Photo – Palazzo Montecitorio, the seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, in Rome, Italy. EPA-EFE/ETTORE FERRARI

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