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5/5/15

Italy passes electoral overhaul to end chronic instability

Italy's parliament on Monday gave final approval to the new electoral law, despite furious objections from the opposition and some members of Renzi’s ruling Democratic Party.

The electoral overhaul, which becomes law after more than a year of discussion in both chambers of parliament, is a central part of the prime minister's political and economic reform agenda.

It replaces a widely decried electoral law passed more than a decade ago under former premier Silvio Berlusconi, nicknamed “Porcellum” (which means pig in Latin).

The new legislation, which only takes effect in July 2016, is based on proportional representation but guarantees a big majority to the winning party and gives party bosses wide powers to handpick preferred candidates.

If the winning party gains at least 40 percent of the vote, it qualifies for a winner's bonus that automatically gives it 340 seats in the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies.

If no party wins 40 percent, a run-off ballot between the two largest parties is held two weeks after the first election to determine which party gets the winner's bonus.

Read more: Europe - Italy passes electoral overhaul to end chronic instability - France 24

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