Italy’s Conte might be back at helm with Salvini shut out
ROME — Italy’s populist 5-Star Movement formally asked the nation’s president Wednesday to give caretaker Premier Giuseppe Conte the mandate to try to form a new coalition government in a bid to forestall an election that could put right-wing nationalist Matteo Salvini in power.
Movement leader Luigi Di Maio said he informed President Sergio Mattarella that the 5-Stars had reached an agreement with the opposition Democratic Party, an archrival.
Many analysts have said a government made up of such bitter political foes wasn’t likely to last long, in all probability only delaying the election Salvini wants to snag the premiership for himself.
Conte resigned a week ago after Salvini’s League party, the 5-Stars’ previous governing partner, bolted from their long-squabbling coalition.
Di Maio said he told the president the Movement’s deal with the Democrats called for “Conte to again be premier and try to form a new government.”
Mattarella must decide if an unnatural alliance between the anti-establishment 5-Stars and the center-left Democrats can produce a viable majority in the Italian Parliament, where Conte would have to win a vote of confidence in both chambers to again be premier.
If Mattarella isn’t convinced Conte can lead a productive government with staying power, he can call a fall election.
Salvini scorned the prospect of a Democrat-5Star coalition, saying it wouldn’t hold up because “the only glue is hatred of the League,” and predicted victory in a national election.