Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has called for a vote of confidence on his center-left government after 20 months in power.

Mr. Prodi, whose coalition ranges from communists to centrist Catholics and Greens, announced the move Tuesday. 

The vote - set for Wednesday - was initiated after former Justice Minister Clemente Mastela, who stepped down last week, said his small centrist party would oppose Mr. Prodi in a confidence vote.   Mastela is the target of a government corruption probe.

The confidence vote was announced today in the Chamber of Deputies, where Mr. Prodi's coalition has a clear majority.  A vote is also to be held in the upper Senate chamber, where he no longer has a majority.  The timing of that vote has not been announced.

If the prime minister loses either vote, he will have to resign.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.