Saturday, July 31, 2010

Berlusconi loses parliamentary majority

33 Mps have deserted Berlusconi leaving his center-right coalition government ineffective

Source: Press TV§ionid=351020606

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has lost his parliamentary majority after 33 lawmakers abandoned his ruling People of Freedom Party, reports say.

The lawmakers say they now support Berlusconi's former ally, Gianfranco Fini, who had also split from the ruling party.

The defection comes as Berlusconi expelled his long-time ally on Thursday on the grounds of having “an attitude of permanent opposition to us (The People of Freedom Party) in harmony with the left,” The Irish Times quoted.

Supporters of Gianfranco Fini left the ruling party to set up a new group, making the number of MPs in The People of Freedom Party just above 300, The Guardian reported. That number falls short of the 316 needed to make a majority.

The new party says it plans to stand up for public ethics.

The abandonment, which has left Berlusconi and his center-right coalition government ineffective, could raise the possibility of early elections.

The recent desertions come as a serious blow to the Italian prime minister, who has been subject to heavy condemnation in the wake of accusations of corruption.

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