ROME, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Italy's center-left
government of Premier Romano Prodi looked set to collapse on Wednesday after a
party which had withdrawn from his coalition confirmed that it would vote
against the executive in a Senate confidence vote, analysts said.
The Udeur party of former Justice Minister Clemente Mastella said during a confidence debate in the Lower House while it would abstain in a confidence vote in the Lower House on Wednesday it would vote certainly against the government in the Senate on Thursday.
Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi (C) walks to his office after making a speech at the lower house in Rome Jan. 22, 2008. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
Mastella's party explained that it would abstain in
the Lower House because the confidence motion was based on the performance of
the government so far.
Without the Udeur's three votes in the Senate, Prodi
has no majority and even with the votes of the life senators he would not have
the 161 votes needed to win a confidence vote.
Aside from losing the Udeur's votes, Prodi has also
lost the support of independent Senator Domenico Fisichella, while leftist
Franco Tuigliatto said he would be in the Senate and would vote against Prodi.
At this point, the only way the government could
survive would be if a significant number of opposition Senators failed to show
up for Thursday's vote and thus lowered the quorum, a possibility which appears
There is now increasing speculation that Prodi, even
if he wins the Lower House vote, will not go to the Senate and instead present
his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano.
The premier and the head of state conferred on
Wednesday and Napolitano is reported to have suggested to Prodi that he should
not seek the Senate's confidence if he does not have the votes necessary.
Mastella pulled his support for the government on
Monday citing differences on a number of issues including electoral reform, a
proposed referendum on the current electoral law and relations with the new
Democratic Party, which was created through the fusion of the Democratic Left
and centrist Daisy parties.