A race against time has started for the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. The non-party lawyer seeks support in parliament after his ruling coalition has broken. A speech by the Prime Minister in front of the Chamber of Deputies is planned for Monday, where he should ask the vote of confidence after a debate. A vote of confidence is also planned in the Senate.
Conte wants to use the weekend for political consultations. He wants to check whether he can form a new majority. To do this, he would have to pull around 25 of the 630 deputies in the Chamber of Deputies and up to 18 of the 315 senators on his side after the smaller coalition partner Italia Viva around ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had jumped. The search for defectors has already begun in Rome.
“Responsabili” are supposed to replace lost parliamentarians
A return to the previous coalition of five stars, social democrats and Renzi’s Italia Viva currently seems ruled out. Conte wants to gain time so that isolated parliamentarians can form a group of new supporters of his government. There are likely to be a handful of MPs who are referred to in political jargon as „Responsabili“ (German: „Responsible“). They are supposed to replace the lost Renzi parliamentarians.
Voting reservoir for Conte could be the mixed parliamentary group, in which several parliamentarians are positioned who have left their parties of origin for various reasons in the past few months. Whether these homeless mandataries can guarantee Conte the necessary stability so that he can continue the government course with a certain stability in this turbulent pandemic is an open question.
Head of State Mattarella plays a decisive role
During this negotiation phase, Head of State Sergio Mattarella plays a decisive role as a neutral “arbiter” in the search for ways out of the political confusion. The Italian president, who, according to the constitution, has limited powers and mainly acts as a notary by signing laws passed by parliament, becomes the protagonist in government crises.
According to the constitution, the head of state holds consultations with all parties. The president can commission the formation of a government or call for new elections should he discover that it is impossible to form a new cabinet.