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    Italy's Lega Nord Supports Proportional Voting Draft Bill

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    Italy's regionalist Lega Nord party supports the electoral system overhaul bill currently being considered by the parliament as it offers a chance to go back to the pre-1994 proportional representation electoral system better suited to the people's will, an adviser on international politics of the party told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, Italy's parliament started discussing the proposed election reform bill after an agreement struck by the main political parties. The law is based on proportional representation with an entry bar set at 5 percent. Both ruling and opposition parties expressed hope for the country’s electoral law being approved in early July.

    "In Italy, we have the government that was not chosen by the people. We have to change the system. We ask to apply the system that was used in 1994. 75 percent is elected by a majoritarian voting system in constituencies and 25 percent proportionally. It is difficult to apply the German system, because the number of MPs in Germany is not fixed and, in Italy, it is fixed by the constitution," Claudio D'Amico said.

    If the new law passes through the parliament it could trigger an early election in Italy, which could be held as early as in September.

    Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in an interview published on May 28 pointed out that Italy holding an election in September, which would coincide with the German federal election, would "make sense" from a European perspective.

    D'Amico questioned, however, a real incentive for fall elections alleging that a main reason for postponing it until September was a collusion between lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties to allow them to complete their mandate in order to be qualified for parliamentary pensions.

    "The point is that in this parliament more than 50 percent of lawmakers were elected for the first time. And in order to obtain a parliamentary pension, you need to serve in the parliament at least 4,5 years. A deadline for this parliament is September 15. That is why all of them are insisting on fall elections," he explained.

    The politician also stressed that snap elections were likely to happen prior to a tough budget vote to prevent anti-EU sentiments among the Italian electorate.

    "The government has to approve the budget for the next year. It will be hard to approve by the majority, so they want to go into the vote before the budget vote," D'Amico said.

    Italy was due to hold elections in 2018, however, on December 6, 2016, Italy's then Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that the country could hold snap parliamentary elections in February 2017, following the resignation of the country's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the wake of the government-proposed constitutional referendum. Renzi's resignation took effect on December 12, 2016.


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