Pact to name Berlusconi Italian PM

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The Independent Online
ROME (AP) - The new leaders of the Italian Senate and Chamber of Deputies were nominated yesterday as part of a political accord that is expected to allow Silvio Berlusconi, the media tycoon, to become prime minister. The no minations must be approved when parliament convenes today.

But party leaders said a majority in the new parliament backs the choice of Irene Pivetti from the Northern League as speaker of the Chamber, and Carlo Scognamiglio - who sat for the disgraced former Liberal Party in the outgoing Senate - as president of the upper house.

The selections mark a break from the tradition of giving the speaker's seat to the Communists while the Christian Democrats and their allies ran the government. Elections last month swept away the old elite. The winners - a conservative coalition led Mr Berlusconi's Forza Italia movement - have made it clear they will claim the top posts. The proposed candidates were announced by spokesmen from Forza Italia's main election allies, the Northern League and the National Alliance.

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