The mandate of the president of the Italian republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, expires on 18 May so he may not be the person who nominates the countrys new prime minister.

The first appointment for all of the newly elected politicians will be on 28 April when the members of both houses, the chamber of deputies and the senate, will meet to elect their presidents and other respective positions. Then on 13 May there will be the first round of voting for the new president of the republic. Many politicians are talking about the possibility of Ciampi staying on as president for a further term to offer stability, but he is 85 years old and said before the elections that he did not want another term in office.

It could be almost two months before the new prime minister and government are formally sworn into office.