April 28, 2006

Italian Senate vote annulled, new ballot ordered

ROME (Reuters) - A highly-charged vote to elect a speaker
for Italy's upper house of parliament, which handed victory to
an ally of prime-minister-in-waiting Romano Prodi, was annulled
on Friday and a fresh ballot was ordered.

The initial count gave centre-left candidate Franco Marini
a one-vote victory for the prestigious post. However,
centre-right politicians complained that Marini's first name
was given as Francesco on two of the ballots, making them

Provisional Senate speaker Oscar Luigi Scalfaro told the
house that as a result of the protests the whole vote was void
and would be repeated later in the evening.