Centre-right coalition marginally ahead in Italian electionsApril 14th, 2008 - 9:35 pm ICT by admin
Rome, April 14 (DPA) Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition enjoyed a narrow lead over Walter Veltroni’s centre-left Democratic Party in Italy’s general elections, according to exit polls published Monday by Italian broadcasters. Estimates published by Sky Italia immediately after polls closed gave Berlusconi a 42 percent share of the votes cast for the lower house, compared with 40 percent for Veltroni.
State television RAI opted for a range of 38.5-45.5 percent for Berlusconi, compared with a range of 37-43 per cent for Veltroni.
A similarly close gap - about 3 percent - was registered in the upper house, the Senate, where the final outcome will ultimately depend on the performance of either candidate in Italy’s individual 20 regions.
The difference between the two sides estimated by the exit polls was too small to declare a winner, observers said.
Voting mostly went off smoothly both Sunday and Monday, but authorities were investigating the disappearance of around 100 unmarked ballots from a polling station in Palermo, Sicily.
Voters were forced to hand in any mobile phones equipped with a camera, slowing down voting procedures at some polling stations.
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