Italy is heading for a snap election after President Giorgio Napolitano formally dissolved parliament. Napolitano had tried to get the country’s proportional representation voting rules changed to create a more stable government situation. But centre-right parties – who are leading in opinion polls – rejected electoral reform.
The President said: “There was no alternative but to dissolve parliament after hearing from the speakers of the upper and lower houses that the electoral reform efforts I’d made had failed. I believe elections called early like this are an anomaly compared to the usual way of electing a parliament and this has consequences for the governability of the country.”
A recent survey found a majority of Italians also favour changing the election rules.
Caretaker Prime Minister Romano Prodi will now hold a cabinet meeting to decide the timing of the two days of voting. The most likely dates are the 13th and 14th of April.