Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected Mario Draghi’s resignation and urged him to seek support in Parliament

Sergio Mattarella (Reuters) (ITALIAN PRESIDENCY PRESS OFFICE/)

Italian President Sergio Mattarella refused on Thursday to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghiin a political crisis that experts have warned could spark early elections in the eurozone’s third-largest economy.

“The President of the Republic has not accepted the resignation and has invited the President of the Government to appear in Parliament to give explanations and so that an assessment of the situation that has been created after today’s debates in the Senate”, reads a statement from the Head of State.

Draghi presented his resignation this Thursday, after the Five Star Movement, a key partner in the governing coalition, did not participate in a confidence vote on a key decree.

“I want to announce that tonight I will present my resignation in the hands of the President of the Republic. Today’s votes in Parliament are very significant from a political point of view. Most of the national unity that has supported this government since its inception is gone. The confidence pact that underlies the government’s action has failed”, Draghi wrote in a statement.

“In recent days there has been the maximum commitment on my part to continue along the common path, also trying to meet the needs that the political forces have told me about. As can be seen from today’s debate and vote in Parliament, this effort was not enough.”he added.

The resignation occurs after the Five Star Movement (M5S), formerly anti-establishment, divided by infighting and bleeding support in the polls, he refused to participate in a vote of confidence, despite Draghi’s warning that he would not proceed without his backing.

FILE IMAGE.  Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi during a press conference at the European Union leaders' summit in Brussels, Belgium.  June 24, 2022. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo
FILE IMAGE. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi during a press conference at the European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels, Belgium. June 24, 2022. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo (JOHANNA GERON/)

After the vote, Draghi, who had to face the vaccination campaign against covid-19 and the crisis generated by the Russian war against Ukraine with all its political and economic consequences, reported the situation to President Mattarella in an hour-long meeting . Subsequently, announced his resignation.

Giuseppe Conteformer head of government and current leader of the M5E, announced Wednesday night that senators from his party would not attend the vote of confidence.

The national unity coalition that he has chaired since February 2021 was divided today between the parties that encouraged him to repeat in office or those that demanded an electoral advance instead of waiting for his natural term, in March 2023.

Among the first, those who summoned him to “verify” if he has a parliamentary majority, were the Democratic Party (centre-left), Matteo Renzi’s Living Italy and Together for the Future, the split from the M5S led by the current Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio.

The far-right Matteo Salvini, also in the coalition, asked however not to fear an early election.

The most interested in voting was the head of the ultras Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, that as the only opposition to Draghi to date is the one that has grown the most in all the polls, already ranked as the first force in the country in most of them.

(With information from EFE and AFP)

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