Italian PM Giuseppe Conte will QUIT tomorrow

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte will QUIT tomorrow after losing ruling majority when key ally resigned from coalition

  • A statement from the cabinet office has confirmed Giuseppe Conte will meet with cabinet ministers tomorrow to inform them of his decision
  • The embattled 56-year-old hopes to receive a mandate from the president to form a new government, according to political sources
  •  Failure to do so could lead to new elections being called two years early
  • Conte has faced sharp criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic 

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will hand in his resignation to the head of state on Tuesday after convening the cabinet to inform ministers of his decision, the cabinet office said.

Conte, 56, hopes President Sergio Mattarella will give him a mandate to form a new government with broader backing in parliament, political sources said.

Failure to form a new government could lead to Italy calling new elections two years early.

According to a cabinet office statement, in a  meeting scheduled for 9am local time (08:00 GMT), Conte ‘will inform his ministers of his intention to resign’.

The statement added that Conte will then visit Mattarella. 

Conte’s government was thrown into turmoil earlier this month when a junior partner, the Italia Viva party headed by former premier Matteo Renzi, pulled out of the cabinet in a row over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will hand in his resignation to the head of state on Tuesday after convening the cabinet to inform ministers of his decision, the cabinet office said [File photo]

Although Conte survived a subsequent confidence vote in parliament last week, he failed to secure an absolute majority in the Senate, meaning he will struggle to enact any policy agenda unless he can draw on new support.

The prime minister has appealed to centrist and unaligned Senate lawmakers to join government ranks, but few have responded so far, Reuters news agency reported earlier on Monday.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement – parliament’s largest party – has since pledged to ‘remain at Conte’s side’, according to the BBC.

Looking to put pressure on lawmakers, the main ruling parties have said snap elections, two years ahead of schedule, will be the only way out of the political impasse unless a solution is rapidly found.

Conte has been sharply criticised for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic which saw Italy particularly hard-hit.  

At least 85,461 Italians have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began, and some 2.47 infections have been recorded. 

Strict regulations intended to prevent the spread have led to anti-lockdown protests. 

On Monday, the Italian government wrote to drugs marker Pfizer, calling delays in vaccine delivery ‘unacceptable’ and demanding it fulfil Italy’s orders of the drug as agreed amid warnings from the company that it will not be able to deliver some vaccines on time due to production issues.

Conte has led Italy as the head of a divided centre-left coalition for 16 months. 

Prior to that, he was the independent leader of the ruling coalition between the Five Star Movement and former deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party.

Conte, 56, hopes President Sergio Mattarella will give him a mandate to form a new government with broader backing in parliament, political sources said. Failure to form a new government could lead to calling new elections two years early [File photo]

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