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Constitutional Court examines election law

System seen as distancing voters from representatives

04 December, 11:43
Constitutional Court examines election law (ANSA) - Rome, December 4 - Judges from Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday started examining the nation's much-criticised election law.

Italy's current election law - passed under a previous government of Silvio Berlusconi and often referred to as Porcellum, or 'pigsty' - has been widely blamed for leading to inconclusive February election results, months of political deadlock, and Premier Enrico Letta's unprecedented left-right coalition government, which is seen as highly volatile. In May, the supreme Cassation Court called on the Constitutional Court to review the electoral systems by which bonus seats are granted in both the House and Senate. Critics say the election law also distances politicians from voters, who effectively cannot pick their representatives, as party leaders have the power to name candidates on so-called 'blocked lists', which are then voted on. Letta has said his government is anxious to introduce a new election law, but there has been little progress so far due to differences between the main political parties.

The Constitutional Court had been expected to postpone a decision until January but it now looks possible that it will announce a ruling later on Wednesday.