Pubdate: Mon, 08 Jul 2002
Source: Star, The (Malaysia)
Copyright: 2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd.


ROME: Maverick Italian politician Marco Pannella drank his own urine while 
on a hunger strike against what he claims are anomalies in the Italian 
electoral system, party officials said on Saturday.

The 72-year-old founder and president of the small Radical Party, who is 
also a member of the European parliament, has declared six members of the 
Italian lower house represent "phantom electorates" due to anomalies in the 

Pannella, who is in the sixth day of a hunger strike, is no stranger to 
controversy following his campaigns to decriminalise cannabis and to 
abolish the Vatican's status as a separate country.

To show his determination, he drank a glass of his own urine late on Friday 
during a party meeting here, officials said.

He also accepted a glass of sugared water on Saturday, but doctors said his 
life could be in danger.

The Italian electoral system allows candidates to stand for several seats 
in the lower house at the same time with the expectation that if a 
candidate wins more than one seat, he will nominate a substitute for the other.

However, in May last year legislative election, several deputies were 
elected to several seats at the same time, without having nominated a 
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