Italy: Comedian-turned-politician turns to Web to select nominee for presidency

Comedian-turned-political leader Beppe Grillo is asking supporters to use the Internet to help his party select its nominee for the Italian presidency.

Grillo's 5 Star Movement finished third in Italy's national elections Feb. 24-25. Its refusal to back any mainstream party is a main factor stalling the formation of a new government.

That task has been put aside so Parliament can decide on a new president to replace Giorgio Napolitano, whose term ends May 15. Though largely ceremonial, the job can be critical in holding parties to account during moments of strife, like that now facing Italy.

Grillo invited registered supporters to decide the 5 Star Movement's nominee for the presidency by proposing candidates online Thursday. The top 10 candidates getting support will enter a run-off next week.