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ROME (Reuters) - Italy's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday to send a contested electoral law back to a cross-party commission for further discussion, giving political leaders time to resolve a row that may influence the timing of the next election.

A deal struck among the main political parties over the electoral law unravelled earlier on Thursday, when parliamentarians voted in favour of an amendment that was opposed by the ruling Democratic Party (PD).

Following the rupture, some politicians called on the government to ram through a decree that would usher in a new electoral law and open the way for a snap national vote.

However the PD lower house leader, Ettore Rosato, told reporters such a decree would be difficult to impose in the current climate, adding: "It is not on the agenda today".

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer)

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