Italy’s senate speaker has been temporarily handed the reins of power by the president in a bid to form an interim government. Its task will be to try to find consensus among rival political factions to reform electoral law – widely blamed for the collapse last week of Italy’s 61st government since world war two.
Italy’s second highest ranking official after the president, Franco Marini faces a tough task, especially convincing conservative opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi to drop demands for early elections.
Opinion polls reveal he would win more than 50 percent of the vote in the event of a snap ballot. With Berlusconi digging his heels in, consensus looks elusive. Prodi’s administration collapsed last Thursday after just 20 months in power.
Marini will have to see whether he can gather enough support in both houses of parliament to win a vote of confidence and later pass electoral law – a job for which his position as senate speaker, which demands neutrality, could stand him in good stead.
Now only time will tell whether he will live up to the challenge and pass legislation that would give Italians a more stable government.