Italy calls confidence votes in Senate on new electoral law

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 24, 2017 11:26 AM

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's government on Tuesday said it would call five confidence votes in the Senate to pass a new electoral law before next year's national election.

The government is resorting to the confidence votes to avoid secret voting in the Senate, where it has a narrow majority and at least four members of the ruling Democratic Party have said they will not cast a ballot.

The confidence votes will be held by open voting. The government is forced to resign if it loses such a vote.

Lawmakers are meeting to fix the voting schedule.

The bill is supported by the ruling Democratic Party (PD) and mainstream centre-right opposition parties, and it favours parties which group together ahead of the election. The bill is likely to hurt the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which refuses to join any alliance.

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(Reporting by Steve Scherer)