Italy’s lower house of parliament voted by an overwhelming majority on October 8, cutting more than a third of the country’s parliamentary seats, eurolink reported, citing the European Union news agency.
The bill received 553 votes in favor, 14 against and three abstentions in the house of representatives. That far exceeded the 316 votes needed to pass the bill.
When the bill is finally passed, it will amend articles 56, 57 and 59 of the Italian constitution. The required seats in the house of representatives will be changed to 400, and the seats for foreign members will be reduced from 12 to 8. The senate was amended to have 200 senators and the number of foreign senators was reduced from 6 to 4.
The amendment also stipulates that no district shall have fewer than three senators, up from seven in the current constitution. Article 59 of the constitution, as amended, also provides that the President of the republic of Italy may not appoint more than five senators for life in any case.
According to article 138 of Italy’s current constitution, a constitutional amendment bill can be put to a referendum if it fails to win the support of two-thirds of the senate within 3 months after it is passed by the lower house.
According to the latest budget estimates of both houses of parliament, cutting MPS ‘seats would reduce parliamentary spending by more than 81.6m euros a year. The amendment, if approved, would implement the new constitutional provisions in the next congressional election.