Italy's Senate on Friday failed to elect a speaker after in an initial round of voting during in first sitting since the 4 inconclusive 4 March national election which produced a hung parliament.
A total of 312 blank ballots were cast in the 315-seat chamber, which also counts six life Senators. Four Senators received one vote each - including former Senate whip Paolo Romani.
The vote came amid political stalemate after a deal between the centre right - including the far-right League - the alliance that won the biggest share of votes in the national election - and the grassroots Five-Star Movement - the party that won the most parliamentary seats - to give the Senate speakership to Romani broke down Thursday.
Five-Star rejected Romani - the League's centre-right alliance partner Forza Italia's candidate for Senate speaker - due to his binding conviction for embezzlement.
A second round of voting to elect a Senate speaker was due to be held later on Friday.
In a first round of voting earlier on Friday, the 630-member lower house of parliament also failed to elect a speaker.
Both Five Star, as the largest single party after the vote, and the League, the leader of the winning centre-right coalition, are laying claim to a first bid to form a government.
President Sergio Mattarella is due to start his consultations with party leaders in early April, one of whom he will invite to try and form a coalition government.