Rome

Grillo says electoral law designed to edge his M5S party out

It is a real 'coup,' says anti-establishment leader

Grillo says electoral law designed to edge his M5S party out

Rome, November 9 - The leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), comedian Beppe Grillo, said on his blog Friday that Italian political parties were making changes to the electoral law to keep his party from winning the 2013 elections. "It's a real coup," he wrote, saying that the law would make way for a second term for Premier Mario Monti's unelected government. He also pointed the finger at the European Union for failing to intervene. "The EU is doing nothing," he wrote on his blog. A new electoral law currently stalled in the Senate, designed to artificially achieve a clear majority if the leading party reaches 42.5%, has also been denounced by the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) as actually intended to set the bar too high for anyone to qualify for the extra boost. After nearly a year of stalled talks and differences at the party level, skepticism has grown that decisive reforms cannot be implemented in time for the April vote. The current law has been widely criticised for distancing politicians from voters, who effectively cannot pick their representatives, as party leaders have the power to name candidates on so-called 'blocked lists', which are then voted on. As a result, candidates do not need to champion the concerns of constituents so much but they do need to lobby within their parties to get high enough on the lists to be elected.

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