Letta in election reform push amid Berlusconi threat

Ex-premier won't ask for pardon

Letta in election reform push amid Berlusconi threat

Rome, August 19 - Premier Enrico Letta said Sunday his government will reform Italy's dysfunctional electoral law by October despite fears it may be felled by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's legal woes. Centre-left Democratic Party (PD) member Letta said the new law would allow voters to pick their MPs and would be geared to producing a clear result unlike the one that led to two months of stalemate and produced the PD's unnatural left-right coalition with Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party. Berlusconi said he would not ask for a pardon from his recent conviction for tax fraud and ban from office which the Senate is expected to ratify next month. He said he would go on "with courage" despite the likelihood he may have to lead a revamped PdL, going back to its original name Forza Italia, from outside parliament. Amid PdL threats to sink the government if Berlusconi is ejected from the Senate, Letta said "Italians sill punish those who let factional interests prevail".

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