Italy’s 5-Stars Denounce New Electoral Law as Voting ‘Blind’

ROME (AP) — Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement has filled a Rome piazza to protest the expected passage of a new electoral law that will likely hurt its chances in next year’s election.

The upper chamber of Parliament was voting Wednesday and Thursday on the legislation, which aims to make Italy more governable by encouraging coalition-building, especially among smaller parties.

The 5-Stars have ruled out forming a coalition and have opposed the bill, which calls for a combination of seats assigned by a majority system based on colleges and proportional voting.

Many in the crowd at Wednesday’s protest sported white blindfolds. The founder of 5-Star, Beppe Grillo, said voting via the college system was akin to voting “blind.”

The 5-Stars have championed a form of “direct democracy” where candidates are chosen online by registered members.

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