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Renzi says govt majority should not impose new election law

New centre-left leader reiterates need for pact with NCD

18 December, 18:43
Renzi says govt majority should not impose new election law (see related story on Letta) (ANSA) - Rome, December 18 - Matteo Renzi, the new leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), said Wednesday that the government majority should not impose a new election law without trying to get the agreement of opposition parties.

Italy needs a new election law after the Constitutional Court this month ruled that the one used in the last three general elections was illegitimate for the way it awarded bonus seats to the party that won most votes.

The law, which is known as the 'pigsty' and was passed by Silvio Berlusconi's second government in 2005 shortly before his alliance lost the 2006 general election, was also blamed for the inconclusive outcome to February's national vote.

"Those (who want) to have an election law imposed by the government majority are wrong," Renzi said at the presentation of a book by an Italian broadcast journalist. "If you don't have an alternative, you do it with the majority. But one of the weaknesses of the pigsty law was that it was imposed by the majority". Renzi denied speculation that, once a new election law is in place, he will scupper the left-right coalition executive led by Premier Enrico Letta, a PD man, and spark another vote so he can run to take his place at the helm of government. The new PD chief also reiterated his call for the PD to reach a pact for the government's policies over the next 12-15 months with its main coalition partner, the New Centre Right of Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.

The NCD is a splinter group from Berlusconi's recently disbanded People of Freedom (PdL) party.

It broke away when moderates refused to sink Letta after the PD insisted on applying an anti-corruption law to oust Berlusconi from the Senate on a tax-fraud conviction last month.

Berlusconi's revived Forza Italia (FI) party went into opposition.

Alfano, who has described the alliance with the PD as a "marriage of interest, not love", said it was unlikely that Letta's executive can last until the end of the current parliamentary term in 2018. "I think that, like they do in Germany, we should sit around a table and tell each other what things are compatible for a government contract," said Alfano, who was also at the book presentation.

"We can do important things in 12 months".

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