Rome

Berlusconi party warns PD to get behind coalition govt

PdL worried rifts in centre left will lead to short-lived govt

Berlusconi party warns PD to get behind coalition govt

Rome, April 24 - Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party on Wednesday warned the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) that it had to firmly support the broad coalition that looks set to be formed in Italy or face snap elections. PD Deputy Secretary Enrico Letta accepted with "reservation" a mandate to form a left-right government from President Giorgio Napolitano ahead of talks with the other parties. There are fears internal rifts within the PD will mean the new government will be weak and short-lived. Pier Luigi Bersani quit as PD leader at the weekend after two candidates he proposed to be Italy's president, former Senate Speaker Franco Marini and former premier Romano Prodi, were scuppered by internal party revolts. The PdL agreed to support Marini, even though he was named by the other side. There are fears that more PD rifts could arise when it comes to confidence votes in parliament that the executive needs to pass before it can be sworn in. "It's good to clarify to the PD that there won't be another Marini case for us," said PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano. "We won't give our support to one of them if they don't get real, visible support. "If it's a question of having any little government that risks being short-lived, they can do what they want, but we won't be part of it. "We have the clear impression that the PD doesn't want to create a strong government".

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