The Italian general elections look to be inconclusive, with neither the leftists nor the right-wing parties expected to gain a working majority in parliament after two days of voting.
A partial vote count late Monday showed former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition could win more than half of the Senate seats while Pier Luigi Bersani's center-left coalition could gain control of the lower house Chamber of Deputies.
Voters discontented by politics-as-usual gave unexpectedly strong support to the 5 Star Movement led by comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo.
A coalition needs 160 seats in the Senate to have a working majority, and Mr. Berlusconi may not garner enough support to become prime minister for the fourth time.
The looming paralysis in the European Union's third largest economy has shaken world markets.
The election's indecisive result raises the possibility of new elections in the coming months and will make it hard to pass reforms needed to get the country out of its economic crisis.