ROME, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday gave an exploratory mandate for forming a government to Pier Luigi Bersani, head of the center-left coalition.
After two days of formal consultations with party leaders, Napolitano called Bersani into his office.
Given that Bersani's coalition has an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies and a relative one in the Senate, he is "objectively in the most favorable conditions to form a government," Napolitano told journalists.
The president said that forming a government was a "fundamental necessity" in order to pursue the "institutional stability" that Italy is in urgent need of besides to financial stability.
Napolitano also stressed the need of a "strong spirit of national cohesion" between the governing and opposition forces in order to deal with the crucial challenges of the crisis-hit country.
Bersani will now have to explore whether his government can find a majority of votes in parliament. If the test is successful, he will be given a full mandate for the establishment of a new executive.
Bersani's Democratic Party (PD), which leads the center-left coalition, got most votes in last month's national elections but failed to reach a working majority in the Senate.
He has expressed the need to form a "government of change" centered on social and institutional reforms in the direction of political moralization, while he has ruled out an agreement with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose center-right coalition came second in the elections.
Bersani's eight-point program has some similarities with the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S) of comedian-turned-activist Beppe Grillo, which holds the balance of power after capturing a huge protest vote.
The grassroots movement, which opposes scandal-hit mainstream parties, has said it will not agree to any confidence in the new government be it political or technical, and instead will vote for every bill that fits its project.
On Friday, the M5S asked Bersani to renounce public refunds for his party. "If it did, it would be the first act of a real change, real, proven. He should do this gesture and then we will talk," said the movement's leader in the Senate Vito Crimi.