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House Speaker defends legitimacy after election law tossed

Grillo leads anti-government charge

05 December, 11:28
House Speaker defends legitimacy after election law tossed (ANSA) - Rome, December 5 - House Speaker Laura Boldrini on Thursday rejected claims from the opposition that parliament has been delegitimized by a ruling that Italy's Porcellum or 'pig-sty' electoral law was unconstitutional.

"This House is fully legitimate and legitimized to function," she said, responding to heckling from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, the largest party in the opposition, led by former comedian Beppe Grillo. On Wednesday the Constitutional Court ruled against the nation's much-criticised election law, upping pressure on lawmakers to reform it quickly. The current 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.