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Napolitano Sworn in as Italy's President

Giorgio Napolitano has taken the oath of office as Italy's president, pledging to serve all Italians, not just the majority.

The inauguration of the 80-year-old former Communist is expected to open the way for center-left leader Romano Prodi to form the next government.

Italy's lawmakers elected Mr. Napolitano to a seven-year term as president last week with the support of Mr. Prodi's center-left coalition. He won in the fourth round of parliamentary voting, despite stiff opposition from center-right politicians loyal to outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Mr. Napolitano is expected to ask Mr. Prodi to form a government. The center-left leader won a narrow victory in general elections early last month.

Mr. Prodi then would face the challenge of forming a united Cabinet, following weeks of bickering by his coalition partners over top government jobs.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.