There is fury among opposition parties in Italy, after the government issued a decree to smooth over a blunder that is threatening to leave the Prime Minister’s party with no election candidates in key areas.
Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party was excluded from this month’s regional ballot in Lazio — which includes Rome — after missing the deadline for registering candidates.
The government then decreed its list would be re-instated.
One protester said: “We’re demonstrating to say ‘no’ to Berlusconi’s government and to all the laws he’s introducing in Parliament against individuals.”
Another added: “It’s a country which is more and more moving away from being a state subject to the rule of law, and a democratic nation doesn’t deserve it.”
Some experts say the elections, at the end of March, should be postponed.
They point out that lengthy legal action would not result in a judgement until after the vote — and depending on the ruling — the election could be declared invalid.