Italy, Europe's third largest economy after Germany and France, is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections.
The elections come after President Napolitano dissolved the parliament on December 22, 2012, when he received the resignation of Mario Monti. The resignation followed the parliament's vote in favor of important tax legislation, especially the 2013 budget, which lowers income taxes while raising VAT tax levies and introduces a package of electoral reforms.
In December 2012, Silvio Berlusconi announced that he will run for a fifth term despite several court trials that still threaten his political future.
Italy has a bicameral Parliament, Parlamento, consisting of a Senate, Senato della Repubblica, with 322 seats, and a Chamber of Deputies, Camera dei Deputati, with 630 seats. Senators and deputies are elected for a five-year term through a closed list proportional representation system.
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