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Italian Lower House approves mob vote-rigging bill

Politicians promising favors to the Mob can get up to 12 years

03 April, 19:51
Italian Lower House approves mob vote-rigging bill (ANSA) - Rome, April 3 - Italy's Lower House on Thursday approved a bill making it a crime for politicians or candidates to promise to buy or otherwise obtain Mafia-rigged votes.

The bill was approved by 310 in favor and 61 against, all of them from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

MPs from the ruling Democratic Party, which sponsored the bill, yelled ''Good job'' at their M5S colleagues during the vote. It amends an existing law introduced after the 1992 Mafia slayings of prosecutors Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone, which makes anyone paying the mob in exchange for votes punishable with 7-12 years in prison.

The new bill extends the definition of the crime to anyone who promises to pay or otherwise reward the Mob in exchange for votes.

Vice versa, the bill also criminalizes anyone who agrees to procure votes in exchange for a promise of money, public contracts, political protection, or any other kind of advantage to the Mob.

In essence it will make it easier to prosecute both corrupt politicians and those who corrupt them, because a spoken promise will constitute enough evidence to put them behind bars. The bill now goes back to the Senate.