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Senate reform a 'priority' in 2014 says Letta

Plans to strip upper chamber of equal status with House

23 December, 13:08
Senate reform a 'priority' in 2014 says Letta (ANSA) - Rome, December 23 - Reforming the Senate so it does not have equal lawmaking status with the House is one of the priorities for the government in 2014, Premier Enrico Letta said Monday. 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.

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 election, expected in early 2015.