ITALY NEWS

Berlusconi wins

Centre-right party takes control of House and Senate
(issue no. 77/2008 / April 17, 2008)

Media mogul and politician Silvio Berlusconi won Italy's general election and secured a third term at the helm of the Italian government. Leader of centre-right Partito della Liberta (Pdl), Berlusconi and his coalition won a majority in both the House and the Senate, taking 45.9 percent of the popular vote, compared to the 39.1 percent cast for his main centre-left opponent, Walter Veltroni of the Partito Democratico. In total, 340 seats in the 630-member House went to Berlusconi's coalition and 241 to Velroni's. The two-day general elections, held on April 12 and 13, saw a voter turnout of 80 percent. Though turnout was high, it was down 3.5 percent from the previous election race held in 2006. Major surprises at the polls included the demise of the Left Rainbow, which failed to get enough votes to be represented in parliament, and an unexpected victory for the Northern League, which now constitutes the country's third largest party.

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