21:26 GMT +305 December 2019
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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi casts his vote for the referendum on constitutional reform, in Pontassieve, near Florence, northern Italy December 4, 2016

    Italy's Referendum: People Lose Trust in Mainstream Parties, Flemish Party Says

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    The outcome of the Italian referendum demonstrates the public's growing lack of confidence in mainstream politics, a member of the right-wing Flemish Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) party, Bart Claes, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Italians rejected a constitutional reform plan proposed by the country’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The referendum was largely viewed as a vote on Renzi’s leadership — following the result the prime minister announced his resignation. The proposal implied limiting Senate powers to speed up the lawmaking process.

    "The population has lost its confidence in the establishment, the mainstream parties, the corporate media and both the financial and cultural elite because the establishment does not represent them anymore," Claes said.

    According to Claes, the referendum’s outcome expresses change in Western political reality in a vein similar to the Dutch referendum, which rejected the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the United States.

    "Representative democracy requires, obviously, that those in parliament represent their voters. When they fail to do that, or worse, refuse to do that — they lose their legitimacy," Claes added.

    On Monday, the opposition Five Star Movement (M5S) party called for early parliamentary elections in the wake of the failed constitutional referendum and Renzi's resignation. This initiative was supported Lega Nord, which announced readiness for the snap elections. Earlier in the day, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that the country could hold snap parliamentary election as early as February 2017.


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