Parliament opens amid political deadlock
No hope of Speaker agreement in sight15 March, 11:38
Since then PD representatives have been trying to forge an agreement with the anti-establishment and populist 5-Star Movement (M5S) of comedian Beppe Grillo, which took a total of 162 seats in parliament, but so far talks have been inconclusive. The centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, which came second to the centre left, said Friday its elected representatives would cast blank ballots in the Speaker elections.
On Thursday Bersani had said members of his party would do the same. M5S will vote for its two candidates for Senate and Chamber Speakers, respectively Luis Alberto Orellana and Roberto Fico, ''without outside influence''.