03:29 GMT01 December 2020
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    The failure of Italian referendum on constitutional changes means that the country sticks to previous proportional election system.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The failure of Italy's referendum on constitutional changes means that the country is likely to stick to its old proportional election system, under which the ruling coalition would again consist of the Democratic Party (PD) and Forza Italia, senator Alessandro Maran from PD told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "What is clear is that the old inadequate constitutional framework will remain in force. And there is a risk that we will go back to the old proportional representation system. That means that a grand coalition government (namely, an alliance between Forza Italia and PD) will be our only choice," senator Maran suggested.

    On Sunday, Italians rejected a constitutional reform plan aimed at reducing Senate's powers to speed up the law adoption process. The referendum came on the background of the Italian Constitutional Court reviewing changes into Senate's work – the so-called Italicum, that would introduce the "majority bonus." The verdict on the bill, which stipulates that the party or coalition, which wins at least 40 percent of votes, automatically gets 55 percent of seats, is expected in January.

    The senator noted that even within his party, there was a division between those who wanted the snap elections to be held and those who wanted to change the electoral law first.

    "The outcome of the vote is probably part and parcel of the same anti-establishment sentiment — spiked with skepticism of globalization, open borders and the feasibility of an ever-closer European Union — that has transformed the politics of a growing list of European countries," Maran added.

    On Monday, following the announcement of referendum results, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who was backing the reform, announced his resignation. However Italy's President Sergio Mattarella asked him to delay the resignation before the approval of the budget, currently discussed by then parliament. Then the president will start talks with party leaders on forming the new government or call snap parliamentary elections.

    In the wake of the referendum, there have been suggestions that Italicum, proposed last year when PD topped the polls, should now be rewritten to avoid the victory of right-wing eurosceptic Five Star Movement, now the most popular party in Italy.


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