Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Italian Conte survives close Senate vote and vows to move forward | Political news

Must read


The struggling prime minister faces the prospect of leading a minority government, but hopes to lure centrist and liberal lawmakers out of his coalition.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte narrowly won a vote of confidence in the Italian Senate, the upper house, allowing him to remain in office after a junior partner left his coalition last week amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Conte failed to secure an absolute majority in Tuesday night’s vote, which means he now heads a minority government that will struggle to deliver on its political agenda during this time of grave national emergency.

After overcoming a similar confidence motion in the lower house on Monday, Conte won the Senate by 321 seats by 156 to 140, with 16 abstentions.

Seeking to avoid speculation that he might step down after the close vote, Conte said he would seek to strengthen his support in Parliament. In the meantime, he pledged to focus on tackling the country’s dual health and economic crisis.

“Italy doesn’t have a minute to lose,” he said on Twitter.

The small Italia Viva party, led by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has abandoned the cabinet in a dispute over Conte’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the recession that followed. He abstained on Tuesday, leaving the door open to a possible return to the coalition if his political demands are met.

Redesign of the policy view

Conte and his main partners, the Five Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party (PD), seemed unwilling to embrace and reconcile.

Speaking to senators from Italia Viva, Conte said: “You have chosen the path of aggression and media attacks … it is not the best choice for the interests of the country.”

Hoping to attract centrist and liberal MPs currently outside the coalition, Conte vowed to revamp his political agenda and shake up his cabinet, saying he wanted to modernize Italy and speed up implementation of an economic recovery plan.

In fact, only two members of the center-right opposition party Forza Italia switched sides on Tuesday, while a number of non-aligned politicians who had come under heavy pressure to help the government ended up voting against Conte.

Italy has had several minority governments in recent times, but history has shown that they are very vulnerable to ambushes in parliament and risk collapsing at any vote that divides.

“There will be a lot of theater and it will be difficult to do anything,” said Giovanni Orsina, director of the government school at LUISS University in Rome.

He predicted that the government would collapse during the northern hemisphere summer, when a six-month moratorium on national elections goes into effect before President Sergio Mattarella’s seven-year term ends.

Analysts say many lawmakers want to avoid an early poll, fearing they will not be reelected next time.

As a result, some of them played it safe this week and helped Conte stay in power. But as soon as the moratorium goes into effect, removing any threat of a vote, they would move to remove Conte and attempt to form a new administration, Orsina said.

Meanwhile, opinion polls suggest that if the turmoil were to force an early election, a center-right coalition comprising Forza Italia led by Silvio Berlusconi and far-right League party led by Matteo Salvini would prevail.


- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article