Berlusconi Stays as Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi weathered a political storm on Tuesday to stay as Italy’s Prime Minister after the center-left opposition failed to muster enough numbers in a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
Berlusconi’s center-right allies came up with 314 votes to help the embattled prime minister prevent an ouster even as the opposition showed its growing strength with 311 votes. The slim majority of Berlusconi’s government means that passing administration-initiated legislations would be very difficult. Despite their failure to unseat Berlusconi, the opposition believes that the current administration is “clinically dead.” “This changes nothing, the government can’t do anything. The political crisis has been made more dramatic by this outcome,” opposition leader Pier Luigi Bersani of the Democratic Party said.
The vote came in a year where Berlusconi faced several scandals, including allegations of sex parties and corruption. The 74-year-old politician also had a falling out with long-time ally Gianfranco Fini in a rift that significantly weakened the center-right administration.