At the very end of his seven-year term, the eighth president of the Italian Republic, Francesco Cossiga, suddenly resigned. Previously, he had often used his resignation as a threat to blackmail and create havoc within an immobilist political class. His resignation, announced April 25 and effective as of April 28, did not then come as a total surprise. It did, however, throw the pre-established agenda into confusion after the general elections of April 5 and 6, 1992—the schedule being to first form a new government, and then elect the new president of the Republic—since Cossiga's term would have expired July 3.