ROME Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni won a confidence vote in the upper house Senate on Wednesday, allowing his coalition government to take office.
Former premier Matteo Renzi resigned last week after losing a referendum on his proposed reform of the constitution. Looking to stave off political turmoil, the head of state asked Gentiloni, the outgoing foreign minister, to form a new cabinet.
Gentiloni re-appointed virtually all of Renzi's old ministers and easily won an initial confidence vote in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday. His administration might only last a few months, with many party leaders pushing for elections in the first half of 2017, a year ahead of schedule.
Gentiloni won 169 votes in the 320-seat Senate, with 99 voting against. Many opposition Senators did not take part in the confidence ballot.
(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, Writing by Crispian Balmer)