2013-02-26 09:08:08

Italy: elections inconclusive

(Vatican Radio) Italy awoke this morning to the distinct prospect of a hung parliament, after general elections failed to produce a clear winner. The centre-left party coalition headed by Pier Luigi Bersani leads former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the lower house by less than ½ percentage point, and has failed to secure a majority in the Senate. An alternative, independent movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo took roughly ¼ of the vote. Votes cast outside Italy are still to be collected. Bersani also won the national vote for the Senate, but was unable to secure the 158 seats required for a majority. Control of both houses is needed to govern. As bonus seats are distributed in the upper house according to regional votes, Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right bloc is expected to emerge with a higher number of seats, since his coalition is polling strongly in Lombardi, Campania and Sicily: three of the four largest regions in Italy. Listen: RealAudioMP3

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