Berlusconi ally says parties still far apart after Italy vote

ROME, March 26 Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:27pm EDT

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ROME, March 26 (Reuters) - A senior official in Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party said on Tuesday there were still wide differences with the centre-left which must be overcome this week or Italy will have to go back to the polls after last month's deadlocked election.

"What I can tell you is that our positions are still very distant from each other, and if they remain distant in the next 48 hours we will affirm that the only way is to go back to vote," People of Freedom (PDL) party secretary Angelino Alfano told reporters after talks with centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani.

Bersani, whose alliance won the largest share of the vote in the February election but fell short of a parliamentary majority, is meeting officials from rival parties to try to muster support to form a government.

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