A 61-year-old hardline Communist, Signor Pietro Ingrao, has been elected President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the lower house.
GV EXTERIOR: Flag flying outside parliament
TV INTERIOR: Chamber of Deputies where election of president announced followed by applause
GV ZOOM INTO Pietro Ingrao walking to rostrum and greeted by speaker
Political observers quoted by Reuters believe the agreement among principal political groups to give the job to the communist Party could herald a new ear of cooperation between the long-dominant Christian Democrats and the Communists, who have been Italy's main opposition party since 1948. Later this week, political leaders will meet to share out the important jobs of parliamentary committee chairman who have considerable power in the running of parliament and therefore in the passing of legislation. Also within the next few days, acting Premier Aldo Moreo will formally "remind" President Giovanni Leona of his government's resignation last may. The head of state will then start a round of consultations leading to the appointment of a Prime Minister-designate.
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Background: A 61-year-old hardline Communist, Signor Pietro Ingrao, has been elected President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the lower house.
SYNOPSIS: The election in Rome gives Italy's Communist Party its first senior parliamentary post for nearly 30 years. Although the President of the Chamber of Deputies holds little political power, the election of a Communist is seen as having considerable significance. Signor Ingrao's election took place at the first session of parliament since last month's general election. It followed an all-party agreement to give the post to a member of Italy's second largest party.
Signor Ingrao is regarded as a hardliner enjoying links with Communist Party rank and file. It is the first time since the days of the post-Fascist constituent assembly that a member of Western Europe's most powerful Communist party has held such a senior post. The party gained more than 34 per cent of the vote in the 20th of June elections.