Italians back cutting no of MPs, regional votes end in tie

Centre right, centre left win three regions each

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 22 - The Italian public has approved a cut in the number of parliamentarians in referendum staged on Sunday and Monday while a round of regional elections ended in in a tie, with the centre left and the opposition centre right .wining three each.
    In the referendum, people were asked whether to approve a law that amends the Italian Constitution to reduce the number of MPs in parliament, from 630 to 400 in the Chamber of Deputies and from 315 to 200 in the Senate.
    The yes vote prevailed with 69.64%, compared to 30.36% for the no vote.
    Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, whose 5-Star Movement (M5S) was the driving force of the campaign for this reform, hailed a "historic result".
    "We now have a normal parliament with 345 fewer posts and fewer privileges," he said.
    "This is politics that gives a signal to the citizens.
    "It would never have happened without the 5-Star Movement.
    "I'm proud of this result," he added, speaking to ANSA.
    "Today is a starting point, not a final destination".
    The opposition rightwing League, on the other hand, said the outcome of the referendum should lead to the end of the current parliamentary term and early elections.
    "The logical consequence would be that the houses of parliament are dissolved in order to finally experience the efficiency won by this reform," Riccardo Molinari., the League's leader in the Lower HOue, said via Twitter.
    In the regional elections centre-right incumbent governors Luca Zaia and Giovanni Toti won by big margins respectively in Veneto and Liguria.
    In Marche, the centre right's Francesco Acquaroli won too In Campania centre-left Governor Vincenzo De Luca easily fended off the centre right's Stefano Caldoro.
    In Puglia Governor Michele Emiliano beat former governor and centre right candidate Raffaele Fitto The centre left also held Tuscany, thanks to Eugenio Giani's victory.
    The fact that the centre-right opposition failed to land a decisive victory in the regional elections was widely seen as strengthening Premier Giuseppe Conte's government, which is based in an alliance between the centre-left Democratic Party and the 5-Star Movement (M5S), along with other smaller groups.
    PD Deputy Leader Andrea Orlando said Tuesday that the government must now move up a gear as it faces the task of delivering recovery from the COVID-19 emergency.
    "I have always said that we are going into a third phase, the phase of reconstruction, and in my opinion this must be based on a quantum leap in the quality of the State's response," he said.
    Zaia, who is a member of Matteo Salvini's League party, dismissed speculation he could go on to become the national leader of the centre right after his landslide win in Veneto.
    "It doesn't interest me," he said. (ANSA).


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