Rome (AP) – In Italy, after Giuseppe Conte’s resignation as prime minister, the search for a new government has begun. President Sergio Mattarella met the presidents of the two chambers of parliament separately for the first time in the Quirinal Palace.
Mattarella wants a safe majority for the upcoming government. “We are currently working for the good of the country,” said Chamber of Deputies Speaker Roberto Fico, in a very brief statement following his meeting with Mattarella.
Following the departure of the small party Italia Viva by ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Contes’s center-left alliance had only a shaky majority in the Senate, the smaller chamber of parliament, despite a vote of confidence in the parliament. That would have made it difficult to pass laws, as a majority would not always have been obtained.
There are several options on the table on how to proceed. However, Mattarella will not announce further steps until the talks come to an end this Friday. Italian media and observers believe a third Conte government is possible. The non-party advocate must expand his last remaining alliance of the Five Star Movement, the Social Democrats (Pd) and the politicians of the Liberi e Uguali (The Free and Equal).
Conte especially needs the votes of the MPs in the Senate, because the majority is very tight there. The first defectors would have been found, but that is not enough to replace the 18 senate votes for Italia Viva, who had previously always made the decisive difference. However, the allies do not completely rule out a return of Italia Viva. There is no veto against them, but there is a political aspect to be considered as the government is being judged on its credibility, PD leader Nicola Zingaretti said Wednesday.
An expert government under the former head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, and an extension to the conservative Forza Italia of former government leader Silvio Berlusconi are also possible. In this case, however, the 84-year-old would break from the center-right bloc. In this hammock Matteo Salvini with his Lega and Giorgia Meloni, the boss of the Fratelli d’Italia. They have been calling for early elections for weeks because they are calculating a majority to rule. Actually, the Italians are only allowed to vote in the spring of 2023. Social Democrat Mattarella has not yet indicated that this could happen.