EFERome

Italy's president is set to kick off on Thursday afternoon a round of consultations with parliamentary leaders to form a new government, following the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The talks are scheduled to be held at the Quirinal Palace _ the head of state's official residence _ where President Sergio Mattarella is set to meet with representatives of different parties starting at 5 pm GMT.

It is expected for these rounds to continue until Saturday evening.

The first leaders Mattarella will receive are the President of the Senate, Pietro Grasso; the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, and the former Italian president and currently Senator-for-life, Giorgio Napolitano.

On Friday, Mattarella will meet with the parties represented in the Italian Parliament, such as the Democratic Party (PD, center-left), Forza Italia (FI, conservative), the Five Star Movement (M5S, populist) and the Lega Nord (LN, regionalist-xenophobic).

According to Italian media, Mattarella is expected to ponder his decision on Sunday, meaning that the candidate to head the next government is likely to be announced Monday.

Italy's newest political crisis comes a day after Renzi tendered his resignation as prime minister, following his political defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform last Sunday.

Until a new head of government is appointed, Renzi will continue to perform his duties as acting prime minister.