In the flash analysis we published this morning looking at the results of the Italian elections and the various complexities involved in the country's political system. Here is a brief timeline of what will happen next.
15 March: First seating of the Italian parliament (both chambers).
By 20 March: The speakers of both chambers should have been elected.
After 20 March: Italian President Giorgio Napolitano starts official consultations on the formation of the new government. The President usually talks to the leaders of the political groups in the Italian parliament and the speakers of the two chambers. Before that, though, political parties will talk to each other so we may already get a clearer idea (or not) of possible alliances. Bersani is likely to be the first asked to form the new government, as his coalition holds a majority in the lower house.
15 April: Procedures for the election of the new Italian President are due to start (unless he decides to step down earlier, see below).
15 May: Mandate of Italian President expires.