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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi offered to resign Thursday night — claiming he could no longer carry on with his fractured coalition — only to have Italian President Sergio Mattarella reject the overture.
Italy’s parliament will now hold a confidence vote in Draghi’s coalition next Wednesday, with the outcome up in the air for now.
The dramatic back and forth erupted after a key coalition partner, the 5Star Movement, effectively withdrew its support for Draghi’s government earlier on Thursday, boycotting a major confidence vote on a cost-of-living bill.
“The majority of national unity that has supported this government since its creation is no longer there,” Draghi told his Cabinet Thursday night. “The pact of trust underlying the government’s action has failed.”
Draghi added that he had made the “utmost commitment to continue on the common path,” while trying to meet the demands of the political parties. But Thursday’s vote showed his efforts had fallen short.
Still, Mattarella later refused to accept Draghi’s resignation, likely wary of the possibility of searching for a new leader amid a backdrop of economic crises and a war in Ukraine.
The situation remains precarious, however.
At next week’s confidence vote, Draghi will see if he still has a majority in parliament behind him. The results are still uncertain, as a faction of the 5Stars wants to leave government and the right-wing League party has started calling for elections.
And even if Draghi survives the vote, the parties in his coalition have essentially already moved into campaign mode. After 17 months of compromise in a grand coalition, the parties are now attempting to reassert their identities ahead of the upcoming election — whenever that may be.
That will make Draghi’s job, and his reform program, an uphill struggle, with more crises on the horizon.
ITALY NATIONAL PARLIAMENT ELECTION POLL OF POLLS
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