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With 2nd term, Italy's president makes history

| Saturday, April 20, 2013, 9:45 p.m.

ROME — Italy's Parliament on Saturday re-elected Giorgio Napolitano to an unprecedented second term as president, after party leaders persuaded the 87-year-old to serve again in hopes of easing the hostility that has thwarted formation of a new government.

Politicians had turned to the widely respected president after five rounds of voting failed to produce a successor.

Napolitano easily surpassed the simple majority required for another seven-year mandate, with cross-party backing that included Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Freedom People (PDL) party and the center-left Democratic party

Napolitano will formally begin one of the head of state's most important tasks: figuring out who has the best prospects of putting together a new government, with enough support to successfully work with parliament and survive a mandatory vote of confidence. The next government will be under pressure to bring urgently needed economic and electoral reforms to the recession-mired nation.

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