Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won a key political battle on Tuesday after the Senate approved an election reform bill that had been bitterly resisted by dissenters within his ruling Democratic Party (PD). The so-called Italicum law is designed to put an end to political instability in Italy, a country that has had 63 governments in 69 years of republican history. Senators backed it in a 184-66 vote, with 2 abstentions, the chamber said on its website. Renzi celebrated the vote on Twitter. “Courage pays, reforms are going ahead,” he wrote on the micro-blogging website.
Under the new voting rules, any party that wins at least 40 per cent of the votes will have an automatic 55-per-cent majority in the lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies.
If no list wins that share, a run-off will be held between the two most popular parties in the first ballot. The winner of that contest will be awarded the 55-per-cent majority.