Berlusconi's party wants vote declared 'too close to call'

Centre left narrowly ahead in House, Senate contests

Berlusconi's party wants vote declared 'too close to call'

Rome, February 26 - Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party on Tuesday called for the interior ministry to stop releasing data on Italy's election results on the grounds that the distance between the centre right and centre left was "too close to call". Berlusconi's centre-right coalition looked set to come second in the contests for the both the Senate and the Lower House, with almost all the votes counted. But in both cases the distance separating the centre-right and Pier Luigi Bersani's centre left was less than 1%. "The data released by the interior ministry, as Minister (Annamaria) Cancellieri recalled a few days ago, are only semi-official figures that are collected with empirical methods that are inevitably subject to a margin of error," said PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano. "Even if this margin is very low, it is certainly higher than the truly small different between the votes for the top two coalitions for the House. "In these situations, as happens in the United States, the authority tasked with releasing the semi-official data cannot fail to declare 'too close to call', that it that it is impossible to declare a winner given the tiny difference of votes in percentage and absolute terms".

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