Pordenone

Grillo says some M5S defections 'physiological'

Ex-comic alleges Senator-buying attempts

Grillo says some M5S defections 'physiological'

Pordenone, April 16 - Comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), admitted Tuesday that some of his party's elected representatives would defect during the present parliament. "It's physiological, we have 162 seats (across the two chambers) and some will leave," Grillo told supporters at a rally in the northeastern Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. "But we will move forward and continue to maintain our position with the Democratic Party (PD), the People of Freedom (PdL), with whoever shares our programme," he concluded. No party or coalition won an outright majority in the Senate in general elections at the end of February, leading to a state of political deadlock that looks far from being resolved. The situation is compounded by Grillo's pledge of non-alliance after his party took around 25% in what was widely seen as a protest vote and now effectively holds the balance of power in a hung parliament. On Tuesday Grillo also alleged attempts to 'buy' his party's representatives in the upper house of parliament. "They have tried to buy our Senators but they have not succeeded," he said without naming the party or people allegedly behind the attempt. In mid-March M5S Senator Francesco Campanella claimed he had been invited to join the Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) party of Puglia regional governor Nichi Vendola, a centre-left ally. Vendola hotly denied the claims and threatened to press defamation charges unless Campanella apologised. It later emerged that the call had been a hoax.

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