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Italy's Parliament deadlocked on leaders

March 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM
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ROME, March 15 (UPI) -- The three largest parties in Italy failed to agree on candidates for speakers of the Parliament at the opening of the legislative session Friday.

The failure of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate to elect leaders stems from February's elections, which gave the center-left coalition, led by Democratic Party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani, a majority in the lower house but didn't give any party or coalition of parties a working majority in the Senate, ANSA reported.

Since the elections, the Democratic Party has been trying to reach agreement with the populist 5-Star Movement, which won 162 parliamentary seats, but nothing has happened so far, ANSA said.

The center-right People of Freedom Party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which finished second in February's elections, said its representatives would submit blank ballots in the elections for chamber speakers in protest.

President Giorgio Napolitano is expected to begin consulting party leaders about the new government Tuesday.

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