Bersani meets political parties as he bids to form executive

Centre-left leader sees PdL on Tuesday, Grillo Wednesday

Bersani meets political parties as he bids to form executive

Rome, March 26 - Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani was to meet with representatives of many of Italy's main political parties on Tuesday as he bids to form a government after February's general elections resulted in a hung parliament. The Democratic Party (PD) chief, whose coalition won a majority in the Lower House but failed to take enough votes to clinch a working majority in the equally powerful Senate, was due to meet with Angelino Alfano, secretary of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, together with his coalition partner Roberto Maroni, leader of the regionalist Northern League, mid-afternoon. Bersani has repeatedly rejected calls from the PdL for it to form a grand coalition government with it and on Monday he also ruled out a proposal from Berlusconi for Alfano to be deputy premier. On Tuesday former industry minister Bersani was also due to meet with representatives of the centrist Civic Choice led by outgoing premier Premier Mario Monti. Civic Choice is calling for a coalition government formed by the greatest possible number of political parties to pass key reforms. On Wednesday Bersani will meet with members of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) led by former comedian Beppe Grillo, which is key to obtaining the support of parliament. Grillo has repeatedly ruled out backing a Bersani-led government although since the election of the PD's candidate Pietro Grasso as Senate Speaker with support from 'dissident' M5S Senators, cracks in the movement's hard line have started to appear. Bersani is due to return to President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday to say whether his government proposal has sufficient support to pass a confidence vote in parliament.

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