Italian president to decide on snap elections next week after new round of talks

Friday, 2019-08-23 15:22:56
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Italian President Sergio Mattarella. (Source: DW)
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Italian President Sergio Mattarella said on August 22 that he would decide on possible snap elections next week, after a new round of talks with parties aimed at solving the crisis triggered by the collapse of the populist government.

"The president of the Republic has a duty to not preclude the will of a majority of forces in parliament," Mattarella declared in a short press conference at the Quirinale Palace.

"At the same time... in the country's interest, I have the duty to ask (from parties) quick decisions."

"I will start new political consultations next Tuesday (August 27), in order to make the necessary decision," he said.

On August 21 - 22, the head of state held a first round of talks with the leaders of every single party holding seats in parliament, to verify whether there was the political will to form an alternative majority in a new government.

This followed the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on August 20, and the end of the nearly 15-month rightwing cabinet based on a coalition between far-right, anti-immigrant League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).

The prime minister's decision to step down was due to the League's leader Matteo Salvini pulling the plug on the government earlier in August in a bid to trigger snap elections.