Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to resign amid pandemic and political unrest

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to resign amid pandemic and political unrest

“The Council of Ministers is convened for tomorrow morning at 9 am, during which the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, will communicate to the ministers his willingness to go to the (Presidential Palace) and resign,” the statement said. He will then see President Sergio Mattarella, he added.

The resignation is a calculated decision that could ultimately offer him another chance to form a government.

Conte survived two confidence votes in Parliament last week. But he lost his majority in the Senate after his predecessor Matteo Renzi decided to remove the small Italia Viva party from Conte’s ruling coalition due to frustrations with the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and of the resulting economic recession.

President Mattarella can choose whether or not to accept Conte’s resignation and will likely invite him to try and build a new ruling majority. If Conte is given the mandate to form a new majority, he will have to add five more senators to his existing coalition.

Conte’s coalition, which was formed in 2019, is led by the center-left Democratic Party (PD) and the Anti-Settlement Five Star Movement (M5S). Despite wide political differences, the unusual alliance prevented an early election that could have favored the far-right League party.

Conte enjoyed a high approval rate after Italy imposed the first lockdown on Europe last spring, in response to the skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Despite having no political affiliation or gone behind him, he remains Italy’s most popular politician with an approval rating of over 50%, Reuters reports.

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