Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
ROME

>>>ANSA/Italy risks gridlock after inconclusive vote

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 26 - Italy faces the risk of being
mired in political gridlock after Sunday and Monday's general
election failed to produce a clear winner.
Pier Luigi Bersani's centre left won outright control of
the House, even though it only had 124,407 votes more (0.36%)
than Silvio Berlusconi's centre right, thanks to the allocation
of bonus seats that goes to the winning alliance.
But it had only 119 seats in the Senate, with a handful of
seats still to be assigned on Tuesday, compared to 117 for the
centre right.
Both blocs were distant from the magic number of 158 needed
to have a working majority in the Upper House, in part because
comedian Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment Five Star Movement
(M5S) sent shock waves the system by making huge gains.
To add to the confusion, Berlusconi's People of Freedom
(PdL) party called for the seats in the House not to be
allocated until the results had been checked because the
difference between the centre left and centre right was "too
close to call".
Both the centre left and the centre right said they were
not in favour of returning to the polls in the near future in
order to get a clear winner.
Berlusconi was open to the hypothesis of working with
Bersani, but he ruled out striking a deal with the reform ticket
of outgoing Premier Mario Monti.
"I don't think it's useful in this situation (to vote
again)," Berlusconi told one of his Mediaset TV channels.
"Now we have to reflect for the good of Italy.
"Someone is going to have to do with making some
sacrifices, but Italy deserves to be governed".
Although Berlusconi did not have enough seats to form an
Italian government for the fourth time, he will see the result
as good, as his coalition was trailing by double figures in the
polls at the start of the campaign.
The centre left, which had been leading in the the polls
throughout the campaign, was stunned by the outcome though.
"The shock and the pain are in all of our souls," said
Laura Puppato of main centre-left Democratic Party (PD), who
unsuccessfully ran in the primaries to head the whole coalition.
Bersani is said to be considering his options and is set to
hold a press conference later on Tuesday.
"The centre left won in the House and it did in the Senate
too in terms of the number of votes," Bersani said.
"It's obvious to everyone that a very delicate situation
has developed for the country.
"We will manage the responsibilities that these elections
have given us in the interests of Italy".
The centre left won 340 seats on the House with 29.54% of
the vote there, while the centre right took 124, despite being
just behind with 29.18% of the votes.
The only real victors were the M5S, which claimed 25.55% of
the votes for the House, more than any other individual party,
and winning 108 seat.
Grillo's Internet-based movement, which won 54 seats in the
Senate, tapped into public disenchantment with the established
parties caused in part by a series of corruption scandals and by
the political class's failure to address the country's economic
ills.
"We have become the biggest party in three years (since the
movement was founded) without (public) money, without ever
having accepted a single (electoral expense) reimbursement,"
Grillo said via Twitter on Tuesday.
Monti, who took the helm of an emergency technocrat
government after Berlusconi was forced to resign in November
2011 because Italy's debt crisis was threatening to spiral out
of control, registered only 10.56% of the vote in the House.
This won his alliance 45 seats there.
It took 9.13% in the Senate, only just above the 8%-entry
threshold, winning 18 seats.
Nevertheless, he said he was happy.
"Some people hypothesized a result that was slightly
better, but I am very satisfied," said former European
commissioner, who stressed that his Civic Choice movement was
established less than two months ago.
He added that his party's share of the vote was all the
more important as the election produced an inconclusive result.
"Given the current picture, I think we have acquired even
more importance, if that's possible," said Monti.

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