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Italian Parliament to Have Highest Number of Women in History

Italy’s new parliament will have the highest number of women in the republic’s history, reaching about 31 percent of members of the newly elected body, farmers’ union Coldiretti said.

Women will make up 32 percent of lawmakers in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, and 30 percent in the Senate, compared with 21 percent and 19 percent respectively in the previous parliament, according to data compiled by Coldiretti and sent in an e-mailed statement. The new parliament convenes March 15.

The average age of those elected will drop to 48, Coldiretti said. The average age of 45 for the lower house and 53 for senators compares with 54 and 57 respectively in the previous assembly, Coldiretti said.

The party with the highest number of women elected is the Democratic Party, with 41 percent of female representatives. Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement is the party with the youngest lawmakers, with an average age of 37, Coldiretti said. The youngest member of the new parliament will be Marta Grande, 25, of the Five Star group.

Italian party chiefs began jockeying to forge a coalition of rivals and head off a second vote as a political vacuum of at least a month loomed.

In the aftermath of an inconclusive election, Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani and resurgent ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi may be seeking to avoid another ballot that would favor populist Grillo, whose movement was the top vote-getter in its first national contest.

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