Italian general election ends in stalemate
Italy’s general election has ended in stalemate due to an inconclusive result, as no party achieved the working majority in both houses of Parliament.
This result means that no party or coalition will be able to govern Italy at this time. The country now faces a political deadlock.
Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the centre-left, has said, “It is clear to everyone that this is a very delicate situation for the country.”
The centre-left Democratic Party fell short of the strong position that seemed within their reach when the election campaign began.
The party won the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, with 29.54%, only just ahead of the 29.18% that was polled by Mr. Berlusconi’s bloc.
Mr. Bersani did, however, win the national vote for the Senate, but was unable to secure the 158 seats needed for a majority.
Silvio Berlusconi and his centre-right bloc have fared well in the Senate. Berlusconi is the former Italian Prime Minister, forced from power little more than a year ago with the finances of Italy in turmoil.
He has presented himself as an anti-austerity candidate, promising both tax cuts and the potential return of taxes paid, appealing to the numerous Italian families who are struggling financially as a result of rising unemployment and recession.
Mario Monti, the unelected Prime Minister who replaced Mr. Berlusconi, did not fare well in the election, coming fourth with just 10%. He has been praised in Brussels for bringing stability to Italy, however his austerity measures have been blamed by some for deepening the recession.
This situation is further complicated by the protest movement of Beppe Grillo. The comedian turned politician is the leader of the Five Star Movement. Despite never giving an interview to Italian television, the party holds around 170 seats.
Opposing corruption and other failings in the political establishment, the Five Star Movement won a quarter of the vote at 25%. Journalist and film maker Annalisa Piras said “They are all non-politicians full of ideas, full of energy so they could bring about change”.
She added “Things could go terribly wrong because they are very inexperienced and they don’t have a proper, credible political programme.”
Italy is likely to either hold another election or form a coalition government to re-work the election law.