Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni speaks before a confidence vote at the Senate in Rome, Italy Dec. 14, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
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Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni sought the backing of the fragmented Senate for his new government Wednesday as a fresh threat emerged to the legacy of his predecessor Matteo Renzi.Gentiloni won a vote of confidence in the lower chamber of parliament Tuesday and needs to secure a similar vote in the upper house Senate before his government can take office.By bringing forward the national vote, the referendum would be automatically delayed by up to 12 months."It seems to me that the prevailing attitude is to go to elections soon, before any referendum on the Jobs Act," said Labor Minister Giuliano Poletti.Stung by his Dec. 4 referendum defeat, Renzi has said he wants elections by next June, a year ahead of schedule, but a new electoral law needs to be drawn up first.Gentiloni's room for maneuver in the 320-seat Senate is tighter than in the lower house, with the two main coalition parties controlling little more than 140 seats.
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