11:02 GMT +316 December 2019
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    A group of Five Star Movement Senators clap their hands during the Italian Parliament inaugural session, in Rome's Senate. (File)

    Italy's Five Star Movement Seeks to Gain Power After Referendum Failure

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    Italy's Five Star Movement (M5S) in Italy has called on Monday for early parliamentary elections in the wake of the failed constitutional referendum and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's resignation.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the ITV.com news portal, the M5S seeks to gain national power for the first time.

    Commenting on the results of the referendum, the movement’s leading campaigner Alessandro di Battista said that it was a victory for the all Italian people, whose rights could have been limited by the constitutional reform.

    "The Five Star Movement isn't the only one who won, it was a battle of most Italian citizens who rejected a constitutional reform that deprived the Italian people of the umpteen rights," di Battista was quoted as saying by the news portal.

    On Sunday, Italians voted on whether the national constitution should be amended to curtail Senate powers and speed up the lawmaking process. The referendum was widely seen as a test of Renzi's leadership and a number of opposition leaders called for the prime minister's resignation as exit polls showed a decisive rejection of the reforms by voters.

    With 84 percent of the ballots counted, preliminary results suggest that almost 60 percent voted "no," while just over 40 percent voted in favor of Renzi's reforms.

    Renzi vowed to step down later on Monday. Lega Nord and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement have been campaigning against prime minister’s constitutional reforms.

    The M5S was established in 2009 by comedian Beppe Grillo and web-strategist Gianroberto Casaleggio. Grillo used his blog in the Internet, as well as the social networking site Meetup.com to gather people for campaigning on local issues, and then field candidates for elections. The M5S became the second voted party at the 2013 general election.


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    Five Star Movement (M5S), Matteo Renzi, Alessandro di Battista, Italy
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