Lawmakers from Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party (PDL) tendered their resignation Friday to protest the tax fraud conviction against their leader, Italian media reported.
News outlets in Italy reported that the MPs handed in their resignation to protest the landmark ruling against Berlusconi, who said after meeting them in Rome that his party was ready for fresh polls.
PDL group leaders in the lower and upper houses said they intended to tender their lawmakers' resignations to President Giorgio Napolitano.
"We are ready to resign to defend our ideal," Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, a senior member of Berlusconi's PDL, was quoted as saying.
Italy's uneasy government coalition was left in the balance following a supreme court ruling upholding a prison sentence over tax fraud against the 76-year-old former prime minister.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta, the centre-left Democratic Party, urged all political forces in recession-hit Italy -- the eurozone's third economy -- to preserve the government "for the good of the country".