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Vote on Berlusconi ejection from Italian Senate set

Vote on Berlusconi ejection from Italian Senate set
Then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for the Nuclear Security Summit, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, April 12, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

ROME, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A vote on stripping ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of his parliamentary seat after his tax fraud conviction will be Nov. 27, party officials said.

Because the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement wants the vote to be sooner, the date must be ratified by the full Senate on the floor, the ANSA news agency reported Tuesday.

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Berlusconi "reconfirmed" his continued support of Prime Minister Enrico Letta's grand coalition government, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Tuesday, blunting fears that the former leader may try to tank the government again if he is forced from the Senate after the country's supreme court upheld his tax fraud conviction in August.

Alfano led a rebellion within Berlusconi's party last month that forced Berlusconi to drop a bid to scuttle Letta's coalition administration.

A split within the People of Freedom Party could still occur between pro-government supporters such as Alfano and those who believe the party should end its unnatural alliance with Letta's center-left Democratic Party.

"There have never been divisions with Berlusconi over the party's values and program," Alfano said Tuesday.

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