Monti backs Bonino to become Italian president
Napolitano's term as head of state ends in April20 February, 11:10
One of the first jobs of the new parliament that will be elected in Sunday and Monday's vote will be to vote in a new head of state as President Giorgio Napolitano's seven-year term ends in April.
Bonino, 64, is a leading member of the small Radical party that promotes economic and social liberalism and champions human-rights issues.
She was the European commissioner for health and consumer protection from 1995 to 1999. "Emma Bonino would be a very good candidate for the Quirinale (the presidential palace)," said Monti.
"We did an excellent job together in the European Commission. She is one of those people who you would like to have more of". Last week Monti said it would be a "great idea" to vote a woman as next Italian president.
He added he was happy he had named three women to key posts in the government 15 months ago, at justice, interior and labour.
Italy has never had a woman premier or president.