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Italian PM Conte wins Senate confidence vote

20 Jan 2021, 09:54 GMT+10

ROME, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a confidence vote on Tuesday at the upper house of parliament.

He won in the 321-seat Senate by 156 to 140, with 16 abstentions, falling short of the 161 votes needed for an absolute majority.

It means Conte's government has survived a political crisis triggered after former prime minister Matteo Renzi, now a senator who leads the Italia Viva party, pulled out of the ruling majority last week.

As a result of Renzi's move, Conte needed to find other political allies with enough votes in parliament to give him a new majority.

The government he leads is currently backed by the Five Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party.

Renzi cited disagreements with the government over its handling of the pandemic and its National Recovery and Resilience Plan, a massive investment project using European Union funds, as his reasons for quitting.

This was the second of two confidence votes the Italian prime minister faced in a bid to keep his government afloat.

On Monday, he won a confidence vote in the lower house by 321 in favor, 259 against, and 27 abstaining.

According to Italian law, the cabinet can survive only if it has the confidence of both houses of parliament.

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