Berlusconi's conservatives complete parliament "double"

Other News Materials 30 April 2008 15:23 (UTC +04:00)

Italy's lower house of parliament elected Wednesday as speaker Gianfranco Fini, a close ally of prime minister-elect Silvio Berlusconi, reported the dpa.

Fini's election in the Chamber of Deputies follows that on Tuesday of another Berlusconi ally, Renato Schifani, as speaker of the upper house Senate.

Fini's post-Fascist National Alliance merged with Berlusconi's People of Freedom party in Italy's April 13-14 general elections which marked a triumph for the conservatives.

Fini received 335 votes in the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies with the opposition centre-left casting blank ballots.

Once both speakers have been sworn in, President Giorgio Napolitano will hold consultations with all parliamentary groups and then formally ask Berlusconi to form a government.

The government will then have to be approved with confidence votes in both houses of parliament - a process which is expected to be completed by the end of next week.