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'Electoral-law deal close'

Winner to get bonus if hits 37%

29 January, 14:44
'Electoral-law deal close' (ANSA) - Rome, January 29 - A deal on a new electoral law is close, sources in the Democratic Party (PD) said Wednesday. The PD has agreed with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi to set the bar for a winner's bonus at 37%, they said, and to allow regional parties like the Northern League to get in if they get 8% in seven regions.

Talks on a 4% or 5% bar for parties in a coalition and on the details of constituencies for candidates on lists are ongoing. The electoral law is needed after the old one, blamed for inconclusive results like last February's general election, was ruled unconstitutional.

The Constitutional Court ruled against the winner's bonus and the 'blocked' lists that do not allow voters to pick MPs.

The new law, set to hit the House Wednesday, features much shorter lists and a slightly smaller bonus for the winning party, 15%, which would take its majority up to 52%.

PD leader Matteo Renzi, the mayor of Florence, and centre-right Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi, head of the second-biggest group, forged a deal 10 days ago which has been held up by objections from smaller parties and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

The plan turns the Senate into a regional body leaving the House as sole lawmaker.

A winner would only need to get a majority in the House.

A second round of polling would take place if no one reached 37%.

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