Italy’s lower chamber of Parliament on Tuesday set Jan. 24 as the date for the beginning of voting for a new ceremonial president.
The announcement officially kicks off a campaign that is expected to see Premier Mario Draghi and ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi vie for the prestigious job.
The bicameral parliament has been called to a joint session for the election of the president of the republic at 3.00 p.m. (1400 GMT) on that day, the Chamber of Deputies announced in Rome on Tuesday.
Its president, Roberto Fico, had previously reached an agreement with Senate President, Maria Casellati.
In Italy, the deputies, senators and representatives of the 20 regions elect the president of the republic.
To win, a two-thirds majority is needed in the first three rounds of voting.
In the fourth, an absolute majority is sufficient.
The election of a successor to the current incumbent, Sergio Mattarella, is eagerly awaited.
So far, no one has been decided for sure.
For weeks, the media have been speculating about a candidacy by the incumbent Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Others would like to see a woman in the office of the head of state.
In the right-wing camp, Silvio Berlusconi is repeatedly mentioned as a candidate.
The president has an important role in Italy, especially in times of crisis.
Among other things, he can dissolve the parliamentary chambers and appoint ministers.
Mattarella’s term ends in February after seven years.