Rome

Centre left says it should be first in line to form govt

Winner in House has 'duty to make first proposals'

Centre left says it should be first in line to form govt

(see related stories) Rome, February 25 - Italy's centre left suggested Monday that it should be first in line to form the country next government, even though no coalition looked set to have a working majority in the Senate. "The coalition that wins the House has the duty to make the first proposals to the head of state," said Enrico Letta, a senior member of the main centre-left Democratic Party. Partial results suggested the centre left would have a majority in the Lower House. The centre left was also ahead in partial results for the Upper House, although many projections said ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right alliance would be the biggest bloc there once all the votes are counted. Letta added that the election's inconclusive outcome presented huge dangers for the eurozone's third largest economy, which is in recession but has emerged from the financial crisis it was in when outgoing premier Mario Monti took the helm of an emergency technocrat government after Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign in November 2011. "We are faced with a crisis that will be long, complex and we'll have to go through it step by step," said Letta. "If we don't take lots of steps all together, there's a risk of falling and the future of Italy is at stake. "Having a Senate with no majority is a situation at the limit that has never been seen before in Italy".

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