Three months of political crisis in Italy

As the president announced Monday his own pick for prime minister to form a caretaker government, here is a recap of the crisis.

Three months of political crisis in Italy

World Bulletin / News Desk

Italy has been mired in a political stalemate for nearly three months, with parties unable to form a new government following an inconclusive general election in March.

- Rival claims of victory -

Italians vote on March 4 in an uncertain election marked by a far-right and populist surge and a campaign dominated by anger against immigration.

As the votes come in, the ruling centre-left Democratic Party soon admits a "clear defeat".

The final results are inconclusive and both the anti-immigrant League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement go on to claim they have won the mandate to govern.

The League heads a right-wing coalition, which includes former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, that takes 37 percent of the vote. Alone the party has over 17 percent.

Five Star becomes the leading single party with nearly 33 percent.

League leader Matteo Salvini says he has "the right and the duty" to form a government, while Five Star chief Luigi Di Maio says his party has a "responsibility" to do the same.

- Talks for a coalition -
After previously ruling out an alliance with Five Star, Salvini on March 14 says he is ready to work with anyone to form a government, except the vanquished Democratic Party.

This leaves Five Star as his only realistic partner.

The two parties launch talks on April 4 to break a deadlock between their leaders, who have not budged publicly on their demands to be allowed to govern.

After a third round of consultations fails to break the stalemate, President Sergio Mattarella warns on May 7 that he will form a "neutral" caretaker government or call elections in July.

Five Star and the League ask for more time but on May 14 Salvini says there is still no deal on "key issues".

In a major step forward, the two parties publish on May 18 a joint policy programme for their would-be populist coalition government.

On May 21 they propose a prime minister, little-known lawyer Giuseppe Conte, who gets working on drawing up a government.

- PM gives up after days -
But the president rejects Conte's pick of staunch eurosceptic Paolo Savona as economy minister and Conte quits on May 27.

"I have given up my mandate to form the government of change," he tells reporters.

The leaders of two would-be partner parties are furious. Di Maio calls for the president to be impeached and new elections to be held.

On May 28 Mattarella appoints pro-austerity economist Carlo Cottarelli as prime minster, giving him the mandate to form a potential technocrat government.

Cottarelli, whose appointment needs parliamentary approval, announces that new elections will be held at the start of 2019 if his government wins a confidence vote.

He says that if, as is likely given Five Star and the League's combined majority, his government isn't given the green light, it will stay in place before fresh elections are held "after August".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mayıs 2018, 15:37
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