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

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.