Berlusconi is playing a really dangerous game. He is using the slim victory of Prodi's coallition to delay the formation of the Italian government, stay longer in power, and build a strong defence in the vake of the expected onslaught on his financial empire. It is legitimate to defend oneself but the words, "you thought you will get rid of me easily" do not sound as a joke (Berlusconi wanted it to be most probably) they are a sinister menace to a democratic system and should eb avoided. Berlusconi is using the fraud argument to prolong the formation of the new government. This is not sincere, even if there were frauds, they were minor individual acts and remain totally unable to affect the electoral outcome (after all it is more than strange that an incumbent candidate refuses to accept the electoral results as they are). Every democratic system, Italy is not an exception, suffers from certain mistakes and electoral abuses, however, they usually remain insignificant and generally unable to change the overall popular will. One could easily say that they were almost no Italian elections since 1946 untill today, that went completely smoothly, nevertheless, the margin of error and abuse was tollerable. One of the US Presidents 'caught' his adversary presidential candidate in fraud, the fraud was not decisive for the electoral outcome and he decided to remain silent, esspecially for the sake of the legitimacy of the institutions. Is one cheats like Milosevic and Lukashenka this is one thing, but if the electoral fraud remains minor and more importantly an individual act, without the ability to affect the general outcome of the elections, a responsible democratic politician, friend of the institutions should remain silent. Another time, Berlusconi proves he is none of the above, he is a greatest mennace to the Italian democracy since Mussolini.
Prodi on the other hand faces a tough choice, governing with the support of the senators elected by the Italians living abroad, and support of the senators for life will often not suffice, first they are doubtfully to come to the sessions of the Parliament regularly and even if they do governing Italy with such a slim majority will be extremely difficult. Many advise Prodi to form a Grosse Koalition, with some of the parties from the coallition of Berlusconi. Many think of Cassini's UDC. This would be great mistake, because the price to pay would be dear. Prodi has another option, no one in Italy talks about. Offering Lega Nord to continue the process of devolution and in return ask for support of governmental reforms without having to take Lega Nord into the government, neither offering them a place of the chairman of the Senate. With 4.5% of votes Lega won Prodi could rule calmly. Preferably individual members of Lega Nord would have to control themselves and minimize their racist discourse on immigration. Just an idea, Lega supporting the Government as an outsider.