New Straits Times

Italy election results in hung parliament


ROME: Italy’s general election has resulted in a hung parliament in which no single party or coalition commands an overall majority, leaving few options for any new government.

The prospect of a grand coalition between Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party and the ruling centre-left Democratic Party, envisaged before the vote, is no longer feasible after the two underperfo­rmed on election night.

The results leave the populist Five Star Movement and the farright League party in the driving seat as the country looks to cobble together a government with a working majority.

The coalition formed of farright groups and Silvio Berluconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party took 37 per cent of the vote, the leading bloc in the poll.

In a stinging defeat for Berlusconi, the anti-immigrant League party headed by Matteo Salvini emerged as the strongest movement within the coalition, taking almost 18 per cent of the vote compared with Berlusconi’s 14 per cent.

The bloc is short of an absolute majority but, speaking after the vote, Salvini said it had the “right and the duty” to govern the country.

The euroscepti­c also staked his claim for leadership saying that the leading party in the coalition should nominate the future premier.

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