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Italian parliament votes to scrap hundreds of seats at next election

Italian parliament votes to scrap hundreds of seats at next election
FILE PHOTO: General view of the Senate in Rome, Italy March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli -
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REMO CASILLI(Reuters)
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ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s parliament voted on Tuesday to cut the number of elected lawmakers by more than a third, in a reform championed by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement which could have a profound impact on the political landscape.

The law, which was supported by almost all political parties, calls for the number of seats in the lower house to be reduced to 400 from the current 630, while the upper house Senate will be sliced back to 200 seats from 315.

5-Star said the decrease, which should come into force at the next election due in 2023, would save the country hundreds of millions of euros and make parliament more efficient.

However, the shake-up could yet be challenged in a referendum, with opponents warning that it will weaken democracy by, amongst other things, making it easier for lobbyists to acquire leverage within a slimmed-down parliament.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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