Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to resign amid pandemic and political turmoil


“The Council of Ministers has been convened for 9 am tomorrow, during which the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, will communicate his willingness to go to the Ministers (Rashtrapati Bhavan) and lend a hand in his resignation,” the statement said. He will then see President Sergio Mattarella.

The resignation is a calculated move that may eventually give him another chance to form the government.

Conte won two confidence votes in Parliament last week. But he lost his majority in the Senate after his predecessor, Mateo Renzi, decided to withdraw the small Italia Viva Party from Conte’s ruling coalition over disappointment with the government’s handling of the Kovid-19 epidemic and hostile economic recession.

President Matarella can choose whether to accept Conte’s resignation, and is likely to invite him to try to form a new governing majority. If Conte gets the mandate to form a new majority, he will need to add five more senators to his current coalition.

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Conte’s coalition, formed in 2019, is led by the Center-Left Democratic Party (PD) and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S). Despite vast political differences, the unusual coalition prevented snap elections that could favor the far-flung League party.

In response to the spiraling numbers of Kovid-19 cases and deaths, Conte has gained a high approval rating after Italy implemented Europe’s first lockdown last spring. Despite having no political affiliation or party behind him, he remains Italy’s most popular politician with an approval rating above 50%, Reuters reports.

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