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Italian president summons Democrats' No. 2 Letta as speculation mounts about premiership

  • ec4ad987a785e20d2f0f6a706700b503.jpg

    Democratic Party's Enrico Letta meets journalists after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, in Rome's Quirinale presidential palace, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. President Giorgio Napolitano launches his unprecedented second term with accelerated consultations aimed at forming a new government. Napolitano, 87, has urged parties to quickly agree on a new government, chastising them for treating the notion of a political alliance as a "horror" and urging them to face the reality that no party in Feb. 24-25 elections won control of both houses. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)The Associated Press

  • 45aa7828a785e20d2f0f6a706700d5ec.jpg

    Democratic Party's Enrico Letta talks to journalists after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, in Rome's Quirinale presidential palace, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. President Giorgio Napolitano launches his unprecedented second term with accelerated consultations aimed at forming a new government. Napolitano, 87, has urged parties to quickly agree on a new government, chastising them for treating the notion of a political alliance as a "horror" and urging them to face the reality that no party in Feb. 24-25 elections won control of both houses. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)The Associated Press

Italy's president has summoned Enrico Letta, the No. 2 leader of the Democratic Party, for consultations amid speculation he will be tapped to try to form a government and end Italy's political paralysis.

The office of President Giorgio Napolitano said in a statement Tuesday that Letta had been asked to come to the presidential palace at 12:30 p.m. (1030GMT).

Letta's improbable candidacy for premier came after his own party chief, Pier Luigi Bersani, resigned after failing to form a government following inconclusive February elections and then failing to unite the party behind a candidate for the Italian presidency.