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Vendola to back Rodota' if Prodi off the ballot

'We must wait and see how PD responds' says SEL chief

19 April, 19:58
Vendola to back Rodota' if Prodi off the ballot (see related) (ANSA) - Rome, April 19 - Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola, the leader of the leftwing SEL party, said it would once again back Stefano Rodota' if Romano Prodi is no longer a candidate for president. "Now we need to wait and see how the Democratic Party (PD) reacts," added Vendola. Two-time centre-left premier and ex-European Commission chief Romano Prodi failed to be elected Italian president in the fourth ballot Friday after the PD decided to stump for him earlier in the day. SEL, which allied with the PD in February's inconclusive general election, had backed Prodi in the fourth round after previously voting for Rodota'. Rodota', an ex-Communist who was the inaugural chairman of the first heir to Italy's once-strong Communist Party in 1990, is the candidate of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

Sources close to Prodi say he is mulling whether or not to pull his name as a candidate.