Mattarella was voted president of Italy in 2015 and his seven-year term is due to expire on February 3. However, the 80-year-old has previously ruled out remaining in office and made no public comments on Saturday amid speculation that he will remain president. CNN reached out for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
”Italians don’t deserve more days of confusion,” the leader of the League party, Matteo Salvini, said in a statement. None of the names that Salvini presented in the past week as a possible replacement has received the necessary absolute majority of votes.
“I have made numerous proposals, all of a high level, all rejected by the left,” Salvini said in the statement, adding, “We reconfirm President Mattarella at the Quirinale (the presidential palace) and Draghi at the government.”
Mattarella is a name that could receive the approval of nearly all of Italy’s political parties, based on party leaders’ statements released Saturday.
“Mattarella represents the (country) unity, I am very happy with this choice,” said Enrico Letta, secretary of the center-left Democratic Party, speaking to reporters outside parliament on Saturday.
Roberto Speranza, secretary of progressive party Article One, said in a tweet, “It is a great joy #Mattarella.”
Silvio Berlusconi, head of the center-right party Go Italy, who was also a potential candidate at the early stage of the election, said in a statement, “A few days ago, out of a sense of responsibility and in the interest of the country, I renounced my candidacy, also to favor a unified solution.”
Berlusconi’s statement added that “unity today can only be found around the figure of President Sergio Mattarella, from whom we know we are asking for a great sacrifice.”
The only voice that has spoken out against the plan for Mattarella to remain in office is the leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy Party, Giorgia Meloni, who tweeted on Saturday, “I would be surprised if #Mattarella agreed to be re-elected after having repeatedly rejected this hypothesis.”
Meloni, whose party has not joined the ruling coalition, has accused other parties of “bartering away” the presidency to ensure they can maintain the status quo until the end of the legislative session in 2023.
Another ballot vote was due to take place Saturday afternoon, after which the final result was expected to be announced.