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Rome mayor: what happens now

Rome city government on hold for 20 days.

Following the resignation of Rome's mayor Ignazio Marino on the evening of 8 October, the city government is left with only ordinary administrative powers for the next 20 days, until Marino's resignation becomes final.

At the end of the 20-day period, the city's prefect Franco Gabrielli is expected to name a commissioner who will oversee the winding up of the present city administration.

During this 90-day period a special commissioner will be appointed by the president of the republic from a list of names put forward by minister of the interior. Whoever is appointed will have the combined powers of mayor and city council and have the responsibility not only for normal city administration but also for the smooth running of the first few months of the special Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. The year, which opens just over a month after the official fall of the Marino city government, is expected to attract an estimated 20 million pilgrims to the city.

When the commissioner's term of office ends, a mayoral election will be called, but that will not be until the spring at the earliest.

Marino was forced to resign following intense pressure from his Partito Democratico (PD) party in the wake of a number of incidents, including one with Pope Francis, which culminated in irregularities regarding his credit card expenses charged to the city.

His resignation came at the end of a long day, during which he held heated discussions with his councillors at city hall, while pro- and anti-Marino factions chanted outside in Piazza del Campidoglio.

In a five-minute video posted on his Facebook page later that night, a calm but defiant Marino left open the possibility that he could "change his mind" and withdraw his resignation within the next 20 days, although this seems an unlikely scenario given his widespread lack of support from across the political spectrum.

Marino stated that his administration had uncovered and dismantled the mafia-style criminal infiltration of city hall and had "liberated Rome from shady business and corruption."

The mayor also said that his resignation was "not a surrender" and neither should it be interpreted "as a sign of weakness or even admission of guilt for this squalid and contrived controversy over receipts."

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