Rome, October 13 - The Lower House approved a controversial bill for a new election law late on Thursday. The bill passed a secret ballot with 375 votes in favour, 215 against, despite dozens of 'turncoat' lawmakers belonging to groups backing the bill failing to toe the party line. The bill is hotly contested by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), which says it has been designed to scupper their chances of winning the next general election, expected before spring. It is also opposed by small leftwing groups such as the MDP, a splinter of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) that broke off after long-running disagreements with its leader, ex-premier Matteo Renzi.
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