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'No way electoral-reform bill will pass by Easter'

Reform minister replies to ultimatum from Berlusconi party whip

07 April, 18:12
'No way electoral-reform bill will pass by Easter' (ANSA) - Rome, April 7 - There is no way Italy's electoral reform bill will be approved by Easter, Reform Minister Maria Elena Boschi said Monday.

Boschi was responding to Renato Brunetta, the House Whip for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's opposition centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party, who said the bill must be approved by Easter or an agreement on that and other institutional reforms will collapse. The Lower House in March voted in favor of the controversial new election law, designed to produce a clear winner in the next national vote.

The so-called Italicum bill, born of an agreement between then centre-left Democratic Party (PD) chief Matteo Renzi, now premier, and centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi, now goes to the Senate for scrutiny.

''That was just an idea of Brunetta's'' Boschi said referring to the Easter deadline.

''The bill still has to go before a Senate commission, and Easter is 10 days away'', she pointed out.

The election-reform bill sets bars for small parties to force them into alliances, and provides a 15% winner's bonus for a coalition that gets 37%.

It aims to prevent the havoc that followed an inconclusive result in the February 2013 national election under a law that was subsequently struck down by the Constitutional Court.