ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Monti's ally has signaled the leader could be a political spoiler by refusing to back any election winner who doesn't pledge to achieve Monti's economic reforms.
The frontrunner in the polls is center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whose party is ahead of media mogul Silvio Berlusconi's forces. But neither man seems poised to get more than the 50 percent needed to govern outright, meaning the top winner would likely need Monti's centrists to form a coalition.
Monti supporter Pier Ferdinando Casini said Wednesday that 20 percent of the vote would be a "satisfactory" result for his party. But he says Bersani would have to support Monti's economic goals and break with a leftist ally who wants to legalize gay marriage to get his backing.
Casini didn't say if Monti could back a Berlusconi government.