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The final countdown as Italy chooses its government

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The final countdown as Italy chooses its government
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Silvio Berlusconi and his centre-right coalition partners say only they can guarantee a majority in the forthcoming election.

The last opinion polls saw the partners winning 36 per cent of the vote - short of a majority.

It was their first and only joint press conference in the campaign - leading to questions of a split

But the group did everyting to put on a show of unity.

whichever of their respective parties wins most votes will decide who should be prime minister.

For the Five Star Movement and their leader Luigi di Maio it was a time to present future potential government ministers.

The were many new faces on s how, including the former olympic swimmer Domenico Fioravanti, Paola Giannetakis, future Interior Minister and Elisabetta Trenti, future Defense Minister.

The Democratic Party, led by former prime minister Matteo Renzi is struggling in the polls.

Renzi's party is expected to come third on Sunday. The 43-year-old had to resign as prime minister at the end of 2016 after losing a referendum on constitutional reform.

If no workable government can be created after March 4, some politicians have suggested Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's centre-left government should stay in office until new elections.