Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Italian Coalition Hopefuls Set Sights On Monday For New Government

Italian Coalition Hopefuls Set Sights On Monday For New Government

The March 4 vote saw a right-wing coalition led by the far-right League party top the polls, while the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) became Italy's largest single party. League leader Matteo Salvini has said it will be his first priority.

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who ran in the elections in coalition with the League, said he would not veto any deal between the two sides.

The Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League have edged closer towards forming a government in Italy in a move that would pave the way for a prime minister from one of the two populist parties.

Prospects are growing of an unprecedented summer re-vote which opinion polls suggest would see Forza Italia haemorrhaging vote to the increasingly buoyant League, which is the dominant partner in the conservative bloc.

Without their support, Mr Mattarella is unlikely to get his proposal through parliament, said Luigi Ferrata, public affairs account director at Community Group, which is a political consultancy based in Rome.

Salvini and Berlusconi's coalition won the most seats in the March election, but the 81-year-old ex-premier has been a sticking point in the ensuing horse-trading.

"That means we would see a run-off between the League and the 5-Star Movement, which could result in a clearer victor and an end to the political deadlock".

"In this case we certainly can't give a confidence vote, but we will evaluate in a serene and unprejudiced way the operation of a government that might come about", he said.

"Significant progress has been made of the composition of the executive and on who will hold the position of Prime Minister, in the view of a constructive collaboration between the parties with the common objective to give the country a final decision and a working government very soon".

"There is a high risk (80 percent) that Mattarella's call on the rival political parties to support a "neutral" government will go unheard", Wolfgango Piccoli, co-president of Teneo Intelligence, said in a note Monday.

Rome has been in political deadlock since the outcome of the general election in early March, where no party or coalition gained a majority to govern in parliament.

President Sergio Mattarella, a key player in Italian politics, is eager to avoid an immediate election, fearing it will result in another stalemate and damage the economy. That would trigger a snap election perhaps for July.

Italy has never repeated elections within a few months of the initial vote.

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