Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has lost his confidence vote in the Italian Senate.
It was a tense vote with Prodi losing by five votes. The full result is 156 for the government 161 against. Prodi must now resign. What happens next will be up the the president. Giorgio Napolitano could decide to call early elections or he could choose to appoint someone, Prodi or another political leader, to head up an interim government. That administration could then push through changes to the electoral law, legislation that is widely blamed for Italy’s chronic political instability.