Italy's president is consulting political chiefs to determine if Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi has enough support to form a new government.
Giorgio Napolitano is holding a second day of consultations, which will include meeting Silvio Berlusconi who remains the influential head of the Forza Italia party despite losing his Senate seat due to a tax fraud conviction.
The anti-establishment 5 Star Movement and the xenophobic Northern League are boycotting the talks in protest at the irregular transition of power which bypassed a vote of confidence in Parliament.
Mr Renzi, 39, accelerated his path to the premier's post this week by engineering Enrico Letta's resignation within the party.
Mr Napolitano could tap Mr Renzi as soon as this weekend. Any new Renzi government would need to pass confidence votes in Parliament.