Talks to form a new a Italian government and avoid fresh elections will reach a crucial stage on Wednesday.

Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella has been holding negotiations with party leaders in a bid to find a solution to the political crisis that began after premier Giuseppe Conte resigned last week.

Mattarella says he will dissolve the country’s parliament if, by mid-week, he doesn’t have guarantees a new coalition would give the country a lasting government.

Conte quit after his Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who is also Minister of Interior and the leader of the right-wing League party, yanked support for the nearly 15-month-old government in which he has been in coalition with the populist 5-Star Movement.

Salvini believes fresh elections will bring him the premiership.

However, the 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) have been trying to create a new workable coalition.

Mattarella met with the speakers of the two houses on Tuesday evening before holding meetings with the smallest parties in Italy’s parliament.

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