Italy's Prodi faces local election test

Polling stations remained open across Italy for a second and final day Monday as some 10 million eligible voters were called to cast their ballots in local elections seen as a test of Romano Prodi's year-old government.

 Italy's Prodi faces local election test
Polling stations remained open across Italy for a second and final day Monday as some 10 million eligible voters were called to cast their ballots in local elections seen as a test of Romano Prodi's year-old government.

The vote concerns seven provincial administrations and more than 800 town and city councils, of which the most important are Genova, Verona and Reggio Calabria.

Opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi has said he will call on the government to step down in case of defeat. Prime Minister Prodi has retorted that the local elections have little bearing on the future of his government.

The election comes at a time of public disenchantment in his centre-left coalition, with recent surveys showing two-thirds of Italians disappointed in the government.

Polling stations were scheduled to close at 3 pm (1 pm GMT), with the first preliminary results expected by late afternoon.

Runoff elections are to take place next June 10-11.
Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2007, 13:56
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