In Italy, the populist 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) have formed an unlikely alliance to thwart Matteo Salvini’s attempt to force early elections.
The Interior Minister and Deputy
Prime Minister’s plan to gain premiership was withheld by this coalition.
“He committed a political error
rather than one of timing,” said Lorenzo Castellani, political science
lecturer at Rome’s Luiss University, in comments to AFP.
“Salvini didn’t see that contacts
between European capitals and Italian President Sergio Mattarella, a deal was
reached to prevent him cashing in on votes”, Castellani said.
Salvini thought he could bank on his rising popularity to consolidate the surging anti-immigration support base. However, M5S didn’t consider new elections favorable to its party.
“Today we told the president that there was a political agreement with the Democratic Party,” Luigi Di Maio, M5S leader said on Wednesday. Di Maio turned down the offer from the League for the position of Premier in a new government.
“I thank the League for the offer,” Di Maio said, “with gratitude and sincerity.”
Salvini urged the voters to reject
the new administration and accused Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of delaying
“This government is the least democratic
and representative of all time. How do you get an executive to start something
in which the founding members themselves do not believe?” Salvini noted.
“I wonder: since when did our government cease to function? The answer is: since Giuseppe Conte summoned everything to Palazzo Chigi. He has centralized all the dossiers and everything has stalled: procurement code, autonomy, justice, tax reform … Even tourism and adoptions.”
The Interior Minister earmarked 19
October as a “peaceful day of Italian pride” against a potential government
made up of his former ally, the anti-establishment M5S, and the centre-left PD.
“From north to south, from the silent
majority … a day of mobilisation for those who don’t want a government born
overnight in Brussels,” he said in an announcement on Facebook.
“I’m not angry because of my own
personal interests, I’m angry because a robbery of democracy is under way.”