Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano has said he will ask a select group of people to offer a policy platform to try to end the impasse in forming a new government.
Giorgio Napolitano said the names would be released later on Saturday.
The president’s announcement ended speculation that he might resign – a day after political parties failed to agree a coalition government following February’s inconclusive election.
Giorgio Napolitano said he would serve out his mandate that ends on May 15.
Italy has been governed by a group of technocrats led by Mario Monti since late 2011 – when centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi resigned in the middle of an acute economic crisis.
President Napolitano said that Mario Monti’s caretaker cabinet was still “operational” and “in charge”.
However, the continuing political stalemate is delaying reforms that could help revive Italy’s recession-hit, debt-laden economy.
Giorgio Napolitano finished consultations with Italy’s main political leaders on Friday.
In the absence of agreement, Italian analysts had said Giorgio Napolitano was contemplating quitting to enable a successor to try to form a new cabinet or dissolve parliament and call new elections.
However, Giorgio Napolitano said he planned to stay on “to the end”.
He was, instead, going to ask “two small groups of personalities” to formulate “precise programme proposals” that could be supported by political parties – and serve as a basis for a new cabinet.
“I want to underline one more time the need for all political parties to demonstrate their full awareness of the gravity and urgency of the problems facing the country,” Giorgio Napolitano said.
There has been talk of the possibility of the president ultimately seeking to form a temporary, technocrat-style administration.
Italy’s parliament is currently split in three main blocs – each without enough seats to govern alone.
Pier Luigi Bersani’s centre-left coalition won the most votes in the February election, but failed to secure a majority in both houses of parliament.
The bloc has ruled out an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right alliance, which finished a close second.
The protest group Five Stars Movement led by former comedian Beppe Grillo garnered a quarter of the vote, but has refused to support either group.