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New electoral law before EP vote vows Letta

Constitutional reforms to be put to a referendum

23 December, 13:32
New electoral law before EP vote vows Letta (see previous).

(ANSA) - Rome, December 23 - Italy will have a new electoral law before the European Parliament elections at the end of May, Premier Enrico Letta said in his end-of-year press conference Monday. Letta said all constitutional reforms would be put to a referendum. All current plans for changes to Italy's reviled recent electoral law, which has been ruled unconstitutional, include turning the Senate into a regional body.

The plans also envisage letting voters pick their MPs rather than voting so-called 'blocked lists'.

Blocked lists and a big bonus for the House winner were the two parts of the law ruled unconstitutional, leaving Italy with almost pure proportional representation if no reform is achieved before the next general election, expected in early 2015.

Reforming the Senate so it does not have equal lawmaking status with the House is one of the priorities for the government in 2014, Letta said. Until now the Senate's powers have been the same as the House, a major factor in February's inconclusive election result because it is much harder to get a majority in the Senate.

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