Italy parliament to begin voting on new president on April 18

ROME Wed Apr 3, 2013 6:12am EDT

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (front, L) meets the ''wise men'', a panel of experts he appointed to help find a way out of the political deadlock created by last month's election, at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, in this picture provided by the Italian Presidency Press Office April 2, 2013. REUTERS/Italian Presidency Press Office/Handout

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (front, L) meets the ''wise men'', a panel of experts he appointed to help find a way out of the political deadlock created by last month's election, at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, in this picture provided by the Italian Presidency Press Office April 2, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Italian Presidency Press Office/Handout

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ROME (Reuters) - Italy's parliament will begin voting to select a new president to replace Giorgio Napolitano on April 18, a statement from lower house speaker Laura Boldrini said on Wednesday.

Napolitano, whose seven-year term ends in mid-May, has been struggling to break a political deadlock since last month's election left no one with a workable majority, making it likely that the next president will inherit the impasse.

The president is elected by a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament together with representatives from Italy's regions.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer)

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