ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won the second of three confidence votes on a fiercely contested new electoral law on Thursday, defying the anger of opposition parties and dissidents within his own Democratic Party (PD).
The motion passed with 350 votes in favor and 193 against.
The bill assigns a heavy majority to the winning party or coalition with the aim of ensuring a clear victor emerges from an election.
Opponents criticize the merits of the reform and are even more angry about Renzi's decision to force it through in confidence votes, overriding the protests of all the opposition parties and part of his own center-left party.
Another confidence vote is due later on Thursday on a separate article in the bill before a final vote on the whole package next week. If the government loses a confidence vote it has to resign, forcing President Sergio Mattarella to try to appoint a new government or call early elections.
(Reporting by Roberto Landucci, writing by Gavin Jones)