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Berlusconi to seek confidence vote

Embattled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said he would seek a confidence vote in parliament, a day after the opposition said it would try to topple him.

world Updated: Nov 14, 2010 09:53 IST

Embattled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said he would seek a confidence vote in parliament, a day after the opposition said it would try to topple him.

Berlusconi on Saturday wrote to the heads of the two chambers of parliament asking for the vote to take place following approval of the budget and stability law now under debate.

After the budget vote, he would make a statement in the senate and seek a confidence vote there as well as in the chamber of deputies, the premier said.

The move added a new twist to Italy's political crisis after the largest opposition party Friday made good on its vow to seek a no-confidence vote against the Berlusconi government.

Dario Franceschini, head of the Democratic Party's faction in parliament, submitted the no-confidence motion, with backing supplied by the anti-corruption party Idv.

A date for the vote has not yet been set.

Berlusconi, 74, has vowed not to step down despite signs that he no longer can muster a majority in parliament.

Earlier in the week, his government lost a vote over a bill on immigration policy after one of his allies, the Future and Freedom for Italy (FLI) party led by Gianfranco Fini, voted against the government.

At an FLI meeting last Sunday, Fini had called for Berlusconi's resignation after the Italian leader had again become embroiled in sex scandal allegations.

After that vote, Berlusconi remained defiant and vowed he would not step down and was determined to stay in power through the full legislative period ending in 2013.