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Italy votes to reduce the size of Parliament by a third

A woman casts one vote in the election

Image rightsReuters

Image descriptionThe move would reduce the number of MPs in the lower house by more than a third

Italy has voted to reduce the country’s parliament by more than a third.

According to a projection by the state broadcaster RAI, more than 67% of people voted for the change.

The number of MPs in the lower house will be reduced from 634 to 400. The Senate will also be downsized.

The referendum was driven by the Five Star Movement, part of the ruling coalition, who argued that the move would cut costs.

The move to reduce the total number of MPs and senators from 945 to 600 had already been pushed forward by Parliament.

But it had to be supported by a referendum because it changes the constitution. The changes must be made before the 2023 elections.

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Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, a high-ranking five-star figure, described the result as “historic”.

“We can go back to a normal parliament with fewer privileges and 345 fewer seats,” he said.

Last October, Five Star said streamlining Parliament would save the country € 1 billion (£ 918 million) over 10 years.

However, critics argue that the move will weaken democracy.

The referendum took place alongside a small number of regional elections.

Right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini said he was aiming for a clean cause, but his party appeared to be making a profit – the eastern Marche region. It remained responsible for two other regions.

The center-left Democratic Party stuck to three regions it already ruled, including Tuscany.

The competition in Puglia was even, according to the Ansa news agency.

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