Italian parliament proposes presidential vote in car park for COVID cases

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Italian President Sergio Mattarella presides over the session of the plenary assembly of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM), in Rome, Italy January 20, 2022. Francesco Ammendola/Italian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

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ROME, Jan 20 (Reuters) - 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 on Thursday, 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.

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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. read more

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. read more

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Reporting by Angelo Amante Editing by Frances Kerry

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