Italy delays no-confidence debate in rowdy Senate session

Matteo Salvini has a good chance of becoming Italy's next prime minister
Credit
Alberto Pizzoli  AFP

Matteo Salvini has a good chance of becoming Italy's next prime minister Credit Alberto Pizzoli AFP

Senate leaders failed to agree on a date of the confidence vote that could bring down the populist coalition. They voted to have Conte address the Senate on August 20.

Salvini, who is eager to capitalise on the League's flourishing popularity, is fearing a potential alliance between factions from the PD and M5S who could attempt to carve out a caretaker government in order to pass the 2020 budget, with a the view of delaying elections until early next year.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the chamber of deputies Roberto Fico, a member of the "Movement 5 stars", to which "League" of disagreement, stated that Salvini by law has no powers to dissolve Parliament. But it's a signal of the obstacles that Salvini faces after he pulled the plug on his fractious coalition with Five Star and called for "swift" elections to capitalize on soaring poll ratings.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte must offer his resignation to the Italian President if the no-confidence vote succeeds.

Before Tuesday, Salvini's allies worked to form alliances and get senators to consider the no-confidence motion this week.

Salvini told reporters that the election could still be held in October regardless of whether the 5-Star reform was approved by parliament. But the political turmoil sparked by the League's challenge already has rattled financial markets.

"What is more lovely, more democratic, more dignified than to give the choice back to the people", Salvini told the Senate in a speech that was constantly interrupted by shouting from other parties. The strategy aims to delay an early election, at least until after painful budget cuts are made to avoid triggering sales tax hikes.

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The 5-Stars, meanwhile, have seen their support shrink from almost 33% in the 2018 election to just 17 per cent in the European elections in May.

Former Democratic Party (PD) leader Renzi said "I decided to make an appeal to the political forces which has the possibility of being met today".

The League and M5S have governed together for a little more than a year.

Renzi said he's willing to take that risk.

The possibility of a deal between Renzi and the 5-Star Movement poses challenges for the Democratic Party.

A tie-up between the Democrats and Five Star is unlikely given that the two have traded insults and have been at odds on nearly every major issue for years.

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