İrem UZUN -TDO- Italians vote Sunday and Monday on whether to reduce the number of members of the country's parliament.  Italians will vote on a reform to reduce the size of the Italian parliament from 630 to 400 deputies and 315 to 200 senators. The reform will also significantly limit the numbers of “senators-for-life” and positions reserved for Italian citizens residing abroad.

The constitutional amendment was already approved by parliament and if confirmed, would take effect in 2023 during the next elections.  The vote was originally scheduled for May but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which killed more than 35,000 people in Italy. The latest polls show that many Italians are in favor of the cut to parliament.  They will also vote locally to elect 1,000 mayors and seven regional governors, another vote that was delayed due to the pandemic.

The main national governing parties, the Five Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party (PD), are bracing for a poor showing in the first electoral test since the outbreak of the new coronavirus.  The opposition, led by Matteo Salvini of the far-right League, is expected to win in at least three regions, including Veneto, the region around Venice, and Liguria in the north, according to projections.

The election will be a test for the government over its handling of the pandemic. Italy was the first European country to issue a lockdown and was an early virus epicentre. Since then, the country has avoided rising cases longer than several other countries, recording daily increases under 2,000 compared with the more than 10,000 daily cases in France and Spain.

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