By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press
ROME (AP) – Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned Tuesday after a major coalition ally withdrew his party’s support for Conte’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, setting the stage for consultations this week to determine whether he can form a third government.
Conte submitted his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella, who postponed the decision immediately apart from asking Conte to keep the government running in the near future, said Mattarella’s office. The president will start consulting with political party leaders from Wednesday.
Conte hopes to get Mattarella’s support to try to form a new coalition government that can guide the country as it fights the pandemic and economic recession and draws out a spending plan for the 209 billion euros ($ 254 billion) Italy has earned in the European Union’s recovery. fund.
Conte’s coalition government was wracked by chaos earlier this month when a junior party led by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi withdrew its support. Conte won a vote of confidence in parliament last week, but failed to secure an absolute majority in the Senate, forcing him to risk resigning.
Mattarella, Italy’s ceremonial head of state, could ask Conte to try to form a broader coalition government, appoint a largely technical government to steer the country through the pandemic or dissolve parliament and hold elections two years early.
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