Ciampi resigns as Berlusconi gains

(First Edition)

ROME - Italy's outgoing Prime Minister, Carlo Ciampi, went to the president's palace to resign yesterday, Italian television said. The move followed the election of candidates from Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing Freedom Alliance to the speaker's post in both chambers of parliament.

President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro was expected to ask Mr Ciampi to remain as a caretaker until he can name a prime minister-designate to form a new government. Mr Berlusconi is widely expected to be chosen.

The election of Carlo Scognamiglio in the Senate and Irene Pivetti in the Chamber of Deputies paves the way for Mr Berlusconi. Reuter