Italy heading to snap polls amid government crisis

Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency (AA)

Italy is heading to early polls after the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Draghi’s government fell apart after 18 months as three coalition partners out of 10 withdrew their support.

The pull-out by populist and right-wing partners: the 5 Star Movement, the League and Forza Italia, created a crisis as there is no longer a majority in parliament.

President Sergio Mattarella dissolved the parliament on July 21 on the grounds that there was no majority to form a new government and announced snap elections on Sept. 25.

This will be the ninth snap election in the country where governments on average last a little over one year.

The last snap election in Italy was held in 2008 when the left-wing coalition government led by Romano Prodi collapsed in the same year.

– Far-right takes lead in latest polls

According to the latest opinion polls, the Brothers of Italy (FdI), led by the extreme rightist Giorgia Meloni, ranks first with around 23-25% of the votes.

The Democratic Party, formed after the merger of the center-left parties, seems to be in second place with 22-23% of the votes.

In the third place is the League Party, led by the right-wing Matteo Salvini, who is accused of being under Russian influence in Italian politics, with 12-14% of the vote.

If one goes by the polls, neither party will be able to win a simple majority in parliament.

In this case-scenario, Fdl could form a right-wing coalition government with the other two major members of the center-right alliance, the League and Forza Italia.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Giovanni Orsina, director of the School of Government at Rome-based Luiss-Guido Carli University, said no one expected the latest government crisis but vulnerability of the Draghi government was a known fact.

“This is a very typical Italian situation. A situation where political conditions are always fragile, but you never know when the breaking point will come,” said Orsina.

“Many of them are responsible. The number one culprit in this crisis is M5S leader Giuseppe Conte. They are the real culprit of the crisis. After the crisis started, other political parties contributed to this by hardening their stances. Draghi also contributed, but (Silvio) Berlusconi and Salvini also contributed a lot. Maybe they, too, decided at some point that it was better for them to go to the polls,” said Orsina.

Asked about his predictions for the elections, Orsina said: “It is very difficult to make a prediction. As of now, the right-wing alliance is the favorite. It is possible that the right-wing alliance will form a government, but we cannot say that this is certain.”

-AA

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