Berlusconi 'not conceding defeat'

A top Italian court today confirmed the slim electoral victory of centre-left leader Romano Prodi in the lower house of parliament.

A top Italian court today confirmed the slim electoral victory of centre-left leader Romano Prodi in the lower house of parliament.

The final results for the Senate would be announced in the coming days.

The Court of Cassation said Prodi had won the lower house by a margin of some 24,000 votes against Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s conservatives – a margin virtually unchanged from the one previously announced.

Thanks to a majority bonus aimed at increasing governability, Prodi’s coalition is assigned 55% of the seats in the lower house, regardless of the vote gap.

Berlusconi won the popular vote for the Senate, but Prodi gained a two-seat majority due to a complicated system of regional bonuses.

However, minutes after the court’s announcement, a top Berlusconi ally said the conservative coalition was not conceding defeat.

The announcement “does not exhaust all the checks on the electoral results,” Giulio Tremonti, the economy minister, was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

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