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Deputy premier opens to law based on mayoral elections

Alfano welcomes suggestion by PD leader Renzi

02 January, 19:16
Deputy premier opens to law based on mayoral elections (ANSA) - Rome, January 2 - Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Thursday said his New Centre Right (NCD) party would back a new electoral law based on the double-ballot system in use for mayoral elections in Italy.

"We are coherent with what we have said so far: we are prepared to work on an electoral law modelled on the one for mayors," Alfano said. "That law has a clear structure and it works," he added. The law was among three proposals for long called-for electoral reform made by Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi earlier in the day.

The others were for a revision of the Mattarellum mixed system in force from 1993 to 2005 and for a system based on the Spanish electoral law.

The proposals come after the Constitutional Court struck down the 2005 election law in december, formally leaving the country with a system of pure proportional representation. The left-right government of Enrico Letta - backed by the PD and NCD, a splinter group from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's recently disbanded People of Freedom (PdL) party - has made electoral reform one of its top priorities. The anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S) of comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo instead shot down Renzi's proposals, accusing the Florence mayor of trying to tailor-make a law in order to win the next election.

"For us what counts at elections is not the method but the level of citizen awareness," wrote deputy House Speaker Luigi Di Maio on Facebook.