lunedì 7 aprile 2014

Forza Italia urges Renzi to pass election reform by Easter

Brunetta says that if premier can't complete job, he should quit

(ANSA) - Rome, April 7 - Premier Matteo Renzi should consider quitting if he cannot get his proposed election reforms through parliament by Easter, Forza Italia (FI) Lower House Whip Renato Brunetta said Monday.

In a television interview with TG 24, Brunetta said that the process is taking too long and suggested Renzi lacks the political clout to ensure that the controversial reforms are approved. FI founder ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and Renzi struck a deal on electoral reforms that drew harsh criticism by some members of the premier's Democratic Party (PD) because they disapproved of him working with Berlusconi.

Since then, the reforms designed to improve the process and avoid the kind of stalemates often seen after Italian elections, have been slowly moving through parliament. "We ask Renzi, if he wants to keep his word, if he wants to maintain the pact, approve the election reform before Easter," said Brunetta. He noted that the law has been stalled in the Senate and hasn't reached the constitutional affairs committee, and if Renzi can't speed things up before Easter, "if he does not have the numbers to pull it through, maybe he should resign".

Last month, Renzi's election reform bill passed the Lower House. The new bill sets bars for small parties to force them into alliances, limiting their veto power, and provides a 15% winner's bonus for a coalition that gets 37% to ensure it has a working majority. The bill became necessary after the previous system was declared unconstitutional in December and was blamed for the disarray that followed last year's general election. 

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