Italia Chooses New PM in Early Elections

World | April 13, 2008, Sunday // 00:00

More than 40 million Italians are expected to cast their ballots in Sunday's elections for a new parliament and prime minister, BBC reported.

Polls opened at 0800 (0600GMT) and are due to close at 2200 (2000GMT).

After a day off from campaigning on Saturday, the voters are to choose from 158 different parties, contesting regional and national elections.

The main contenders for the premiership are centre-right former PM Silvio Berlusconi and centre-left former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni.

Both runners have promised modest tax cuts and reductions in bureaucracy as the economy turned out to be the key election issue.

Mr Berlusconi is the head of a business empire that spans media, advertising, insurance, food and construction and includes the successful football club AC Milan. He is also leading a new party into the polls - the conservative People of Freedom (PDL).

Mr Veltroni is a former communist who served for seven years as mayor of Rome, before taking over the leadership of the coalition led by Romano Prodi. He leads the recently formed grouping, the Democratic Party (PD).

Italy's 62nd election in 63 years comes three years early, after Prodi stepped down as prime minister when his coalition government collapsed in January.

Correspondents say that whichever candidate is declared the winner on Monday, both know that a period of painful political and economic reforms is essential and unavoidable.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

World » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria