Italy's new president has begun consultations with political leaders ahead of his expected nomination of Romano Prodi as the country's new prime minister.
Giorgio Napolitano began a series of meetings with top politicians throughout the day Tuesday, and could ask Mr. Prodi to form a government as early as this evening.
A narrow victor in last month's general elections, Mr. Prodi said Tuesday, he is ready to receive his mandate and is working to set up a cabinet.
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.Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.