Italy's election winners join forces to elect new parliamentary speakers

Forza Italia's Elisabetta Castelli will lead Italy's lower house
Forza Italia's Elisabetta Castelli will lead Italy's lower house
By Tokunbo Salako with Reuters
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Italy's rival parties had to put their differences aside in order to choose leaders of both houses of parliament

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The winners of Italy's election have agreed on electing new speakers for both houses of parliament, both highly prestigious posts.

Forza Italia veteran Elisabetta Casellati was chosen as president of the Senate.

It came after last minute talks healed a rift which almost brought about the collapse of the conservative alliance

There were also days of talks before the two sides joined forces to make 5-Star Movement member Roberto Fico president of the lower house.

But there was no sign of the rival parties coming together to form a coalition government.

The March 4 election ended with a hung parliament and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement emerged as the largest party. A conservative alliance, including the anti-immigration League party, came out as the largest bloc.

The elections of the speakers open the way for formal government consultations, which will be led by President Sergio Mattarella and are expected to start early next month.

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