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5-Star Movement Senator faces possible expulsion

Loses confidence vote at party meeting in his constituency

10 March, 16:52
5-Star Movement Senator faces possible expulsion (ANSA) - Rome, March 10 - After comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo expelled a total of nine Senators from his anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S), another parliamentarian with the party faces a possible expulsion for criticizing it.

Senator Bartolomeo Pepe on Sunday received a no-confidence motion from the local assembly of the M5S in Naples, his constituency, M5S parliamentarian Roberto Fico, who heads the parliamentary commission that oversees State broadcaster RAI, said on Monday.

The vote does not imply that a procedure to expel the Senator has been started yet, though it makes it likely, Fico noted.

Fico said he would personally "vote for the expulsion". Grillo expelled five Senators from his movement last Thursday after they tendered their resignation as parliamentarians in solidarity with four former party members who had been similarly ejected. "You are isolated and cannot continue to be the official representatives in the institutions. Alessandra Bencini, Laura Bignami, Monica Casaletto, Mary Mussini and Maurizio Romani are out of the M5S," Grillo wrote on his blog. Senators Luis Alberto Orellana, Francesco Campanella, Fabrizio Bocchino and Lorenzo Battista were expelled from the M5S following an on-line vote for criticizing their leader's tirade against Premier Matteo Renzi during his government-formation.

The incident has brought tensions within Italy's second-biggest political force to a head amid accusations that the movement is far from democratic.

Senators with the movement are now down from 50 to 41. (photo: Senator Bartolomeo Pepe)