• search

Italy's Prodi weakened by Senate vote setback

Written by: Staff

ROME, Apr 29 (Reuters) Romano Prodi's hopes of forming a stable government suffered a setback in the early hours today after he ailed to impose his candidate for speaker of Italy's upper house in three successive secret ballots.

A fourth and final vote will be held later today, when the margin needed to clinch victory will be lowered, opening the way for Prodi's ally Franco Marini to finally clinch the prestigious post in the upper house Senate.

But the fact that he was unable to secure an absolute majority in three initial votes, which at times verged on the farcical, revealed divisions in centre-left ranks and suggested a Prodi government would struggle to get legislation approved.

Supporters of outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi watched the centre-left's problems with glee and said Prodi should not be given the go-ahead to form a government because he could not guarantee political stability.

Prodi's allies struggled to hide their dismay over the setback in the Senate, where at least one centre-left parliamentarian apparently failed to back Marini.

''I am very embarrassed,'' said Pierluigi Castagnetti, a leader of the moderate Daisy Party.

''It obviously means that someone is playing a parallel game.

At this point it is legitimate to suspect that someone in the centre-left is underestimating what is going on,'' he added.

Some of Prodi's allies openly argued with each other in the opulent Senate as the hunt started for possible traitors.

''All day we have seen that the (centre-left) does not have the majority they have claimed to have. At this point, after this Senate vote, they should not receive a mandate to govern,'' said Roberto Calderoli, a former Berlusconi minister.

More Reuters SHB BST0950

For Daily Alerts

For Breaking News from Oneindia
Get instant news updates throughout the day.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more