Italian Premier Resigns After Vote Loss
Italian Premier Romano Prodi resigned Thursday after his center-left coalition lost a Senate confidence vote, a humiliating end to a 20-month-old government plagued by infighting.
Calling early elections or asking a politician to try to form another government are among President Giorgio Napolitano's options as head of state. Until he decides, Prodi will stay on in a caretaker role.
Elected in April 2006, Prodi has had a shaky government from nearly the start. It lurched toward collapse this week after a small Christian Democrat party, whose votes were vital to his Senate majority, yanked its support in the latest coalition spat.
Prodi, a 68-year-old former economics professor, went into the vote with the numbers stacked against him after a few additional senators in his coalition parties said they would cast "no" votes.
The government lost 161-156 after a fiery debate during which one senator was spat upon, fainted and had to be carried out on a stretcher.
Although decades of revolving-door politics has produced 61 governments since World War II, Italy's political climate had stabilized in recent years, with Berlusconi's government lasting for a full five-year term starting in 2001.
Read it all at The AP/MyWay
Previously: Well, they're they go again