Apr 12, 2006

Prodi "Confident" of Victory over Berlusconi

(Rome) Center-left coalition leader Romano Prodi said today that he is "confident" that his narrow Italian election victory will stand when the votes are checked.

Prodi, a former Italian prime minister, called the situation facing the country "complex and difficult."

"Now we will work for our program together with the coalition and together with all Italians, including those who did not vote for us," he told reporters.

Berlusconi, who is claiming the existence of "irregularities" in the parliamenmtary election, refused to concede defeat.

"Nobody now can say they have won until all necessary legal verification procedures have been completed," Berlusconi said at a press conference in Rome yesterday.

A mere 25,000 votes separate the two candidates in the lower Italian parliament house.

In the 315-seat Italian Senate, Prodi won 158 seats, Berlusconi's center-right coalition won 156, and one independent was elected.

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