Italy is waking up to a political crisis following the resignation of Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Prodi quit last night after losing a vote of confidence in the Senate. Under the constitution, President Giorgio Napolitano must discuss with party and parliamentary leaders and former presidents what to do next.
He could appoint an interim government and charge it with the task of reforming the country’s much-criticised voting system.
Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is demanding he take the other option — a snap election. Berlusconi currently enjoys a solid lead in opinion polls.
Many members of Prodi’s party say an election would take Italy back to square one.
One party leader, Anna Finocchiaro, said that under the current electoral system, a vote would only lead to the same political instability and inefficiency that exists now.