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President Giorgio Napolitano will ask today Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani to form a government after coming first in the February 24-25 election.

Bersani, whose coalition lacks a majority in the Senate, will use the next few days to establish whether he believes he can win a confidence vote in both the Parliament’s chambers. Until now, he has tried hard to persuade Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement to support a centre-left government, but the anti-establishment party has made clear it will only vote in favour of policies which match its manifesto programme.

Speculation about the possible composition of any new government is rife, but many fear no coalition will win a confidence vote, further underlining the perception of Italy as ungovernable.