As many as 20 centre-right Italian senators are poised to break away from Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) Party, according to reports.
The speculation of a potential revolt within the party came after Berlusconi – who has been convicted of tax fraud – asked PDL ministers to resign and called for fresh elections in Italy.
The PDL’s Mariastella Gelmini said there was not an irrevocable split within the party: “I’m pretty sure that there is still enough room for finding common ground. With our leader, we can show a united party with a clear position,” she said.
A confidence vote on Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government is due to take place on October 2.