Italian PM Conte resigns, leaving country adrift in the midst of the pandemic

DY365
DY365
Published: January 26,2021 07:13 PM
DY365

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January 26, 2021: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned after losing his Senate majority, plunging the country into political uncertainty just as it’s battling the pandemic and a recession.

January 26, 2021: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned after losing his Senate majority, plunging the country into political uncertainty just as it’s battling the pandemic and a recession.



Weakened by the defection of a junior partner, Conte offered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella on Tuesday, according to a statement from the president’s office.



The head of state, who oversees attempts to forge new governments, will hold a round of talks with party leaders before he nominates someone to forge a fresh coalition, the statement said.



Conte is angling for a new mandate to form what would be his third government in four years. His plan, according to officials familiar with his thinking, is to forge a broader alliance including pro-European centrists and unaffiliated lawmakers - and possibly even bringing back some members of ex-Premier Matteo Renzi’s Italy Alive party, who abandoned his second administration earlier this month.



But Mattarella could also decide that there’s a better candidate to pull together a majority in the fragmented parliament, or even that elections are necessary to return the country to political stability.



After fighting for two weeks to shore up his position, Conte’s hand was forced by the prospect of losing a Senate vote on the judiciary due as soon as Wednesday. A defeat there would have damaged his authority and reduced his chances of being granted a new opportunity by Mattarella, according to an official who spoke before the resignation.