Monti, in Twitter Q&A, says new voting law priority for Italy

Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:38am EST
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By Steve Scherer

ROME (Reuters) - Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Saturday if he wins February's parliamentary election one of his first acts would be to overhaul the voting law to improve democracy and government stability.

Monti, 69, who last week confirmed he would lead a centrist coalition in the February 24-25 vote, called himself a "bit of a pioneer" in politics during nearly 2 hours of #MontiLive tweets.

The electoral law is unpopular because party leaders select candidates and voters cannot choose their representatives. For technical reasons, it also makes forming a stable majority more difficult, leading to broad and unwieldy coalitions.

"This electoral law is not worthy of a country like Italy," said Monti of the 2005 legislation passed when centre-right rival Silvio Berlusconi was in power.

Monti and Berlusconi trail the centre-left in opinion polls and have made multiple appearances, mainly on TV, over the past week as they seek to recoup support and motivate voters who have said they do not intend to vote.

A poll by the Tecne research institute released on SkyTG24 on Friday showed Monti's grouping would likely attract slightly more than 12 percent of the vote.

That compared with 40 percent for the centre-left bloc led by Pier Luigi Bersani's Democratic Party (PD); and 25 percent for the most likely centre-right coalition of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) and the Northern League.

In a separate tweet, Monti indicated he would "dialogue" with anyone after the vote whether he wins or not, as long as they are "reformists".   Continued...

Italy's outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti poses before the taping of the talk show "Otto e mezzo" (Eight and a half) at La7 television in Rome January 4, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi