Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday received Giuseppe Conte, who recently resigned as prime minister, and asked him to form a new government, the secretary general of the president’s chancellery, Ugo Zampetti, said.
“President Sergio Mattarella received Giuseppe Conte and asked him to form a government. Conte accepted the mandate,” Zampetti said as aired by Rai broadcaster.
Conte’s candidature to lead a new government has been backed by the Five Star Movement, which was part of the previous ruling coalition, and Democratic Party, which was in opposition to it.
Conte announced his resignation on August 20, thus terminating the 14-month-long coalition government led by Lega party headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Minister Luigi di Maio from the Five Star Movement. Since then, Mattarella has been engaged in consultations with all political parties to find a solution to the crisis, which under Italian law can come out in one of two ways: forming a new government or calling for a snap general election. Salvini has actively pushed for the latter scenario.
In early August, Salvini announced to Conte that the government coalition was practically dysfunctional because of internal disagreements and therefore could no longer exist. He called for a vote of no confidence in the government after the Five Star Movement blocked a series of Lega initiatives.
When Conte handed in his resignation to the president, he lashed out at Salvini at the Senate for disrespecting the constitution and pursuing a personal agenda. Salvini allegedly orchestrated the coalition’s collapse to convene snap general election in which, judging from opinion polls at a time, his party would prevail and form a right-wing government.