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Senate fails to elect speaker amid political deadlock

23 marzo 2018 | 16.21
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Photo: AFP

Italy's Senate on Friday failed to elect a speaker after in an initial round of voting during in first sitting since the 4 inconclusive 4 March national election which produced a hung parliament.

A total of 312 blank ballots were cast in the 315-seat chamber, which also counts six life Senators. Four Senators received one vote each - including former Senate whip Paolo Romani.

The vote came amid political stalemate after a deal between the centre right - including the far-right League - the alliance that won the biggest share of votes in the national election - and the grassroots Five-Star Movement - the party that won the most parliamentary seats - to give the Senate speakership to Romani broke down Thursday.

Five-Star rejected Romani - the League's centre-right alliance partner Forza Italia's candidate for Senate speaker - due to his binding conviction for embezzlement.

A second round of voting to elect a Senate speaker was due to be held later on Friday.

In a first round of voting earlier on Friday, the 630-member lower house of parliament also failed to elect a speaker.

Both Five Star, as the largest single party after the vote, and the League, the leader of the winning centre-right coalition, are laying claim to a first bid to form a government.

President Sergio Mattarella is due to start his consultations with party leaders in early April, one of whom he will invite to try and form a coalition government.

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