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Govt will fall if electoral reform sunk says Renzi

But PD leader 'optimistic'

27 January, 13:20
Govt will fall if electoral reform sunk says Renzi (ANSA) - Florence, January 27 - The government will fall if a new electoral law is not passed, Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi said Monday. But Renzi, who forged a deal with centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi that paves the way for the key reform, said he was optimistic that would not happen.

"If the law is sunk it's difficult to think of hope for this legislative term, but I am optimistic," said the dynamic Florence mayor, who has shaken up his party and raised pressure on the PD-led government to enact much-needed reforms. On January 18 Renzi and Berlusconi agreed on a plan to produce a clear winner by abolishing the powers of the Senate and raising the bar for small parties to get into parliament, to hopefully usher in a two-bloc system. But parties have been quibbling because of the relatively high bar - 5% for a party in a coalition, 8% for a party not in an alliance - and because the plan does not completely scrap lists of candidates picked by party bosses so as to give voters back the power to select their preferred candidate.

The reform bill, which is due to hit the House floor Wednesday, aims to replace a law recently deemed unconstitutional, which was blamed for last year's inconclusive general election result that led to former PD deputy chief, Premier Enrico Letta's unprecedented right-left coalition.