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Italy’s Mattarella to be sworn in for second term

Sergio Mattarella will be sworn in for a second term as Italy's president on Thursday, after a drawn-out election last week that resulted in him being chosen for a job he was no longer interested in holding.

Sergio Mattarella will be sworn in for a second term as Italy‘s president on Thursday, after a drawn-out election last week that resulted in him being chosen for a job he was no longer interested in holding.

The 80-year-old is scheduled to give a speech at the afternoon ceremony inside the Chamber of Deputies in Rome.

Mattarella had repeatedly ruled out a second term in office – which lasts seven years – but changed his mind when Italy‘s main parties failed to agree on a successor and no other way out of the impasse appeared available.

After a chaotic round of haggling, the Sicilian allowed himself to be persuaded to drop his retirement plans and accept re-election in a vote by more than 1,000 lawmakers and regional delegates.

A wreath-laying ceremony is planned in front of the national monument to King Victor Emmanuel II after Mattarella is sworn in.

Afterwards, Mattarella is to travel to his official residence, the Quirinal Palace, together with Prime Minister Mario Draghi. There he will be received back with military honours.

The Italian president is mainly tasked with ceremonial matters. The job at times can wield big power, including by halting legislation, dissolving parliament and thus initiating new elections, and approving or preventing the appointment of ministers.

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