Italy’s Salvini accepts cutting lawmakers, if followed by instant vote


Italian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the League party Matteo Salvini gestures as he speaks in the upper house as the senate meets to set a date for a motion of no confidence in the government in Rome, Italy August 13, 2019/Remo Casilli

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday he would accept a proposal by ruling coalition partner the 5-Star Movement to slash the number of members of parliament, as long as elections were held immediately afterwards.

Salvini’s far-right League party announced last week it would file a no-confidence motion in the 14 month-old coalition in an effort to trigger early elections in October that he expects to win.

The 5-Star has cried foul, saying the move would scupper a drive to reduce the number of parliamentarians. The party says it only needs a brief session in the lower house to complete the legislation.

“We close in style, with the promise made to Italians, we will cut 345 lawmakers and then, for the sake of dignity, honesty and coherence, we will go straight to a vote,” Salvini said in the upper house of parliament in Rome.

Reporting by Gavin Jones, Isla Binnie and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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