Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte criticised Lega leader Matteo Salvini’s decision to call for a snap election in a speech from Rome on Thursday evening. The non-party law professor, who serves as the coalition government’s prime minister, said Salvini must “justify” his call for an election. He also accused the interior minister of fabricating “the most transparent [political crisis] in Republican history.” Despite being the junior party in the coalition, Lega is well ahead in opinion polls, largely due to its opposition towards illegal immigration. Salvini said coalition partners the Five Star Movement of being incapable of governing, after the party sought to halt plans for a high-speed rail link.

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