A full sitting of the Italian Senate will decide Tuesday on a date for a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, amid an ongoing government crisis.
A majority of representatives from the political groups in parliament voted Monday to hold the no-confidence vote August 20, but this was opposed by the ruling far-right League, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the Brothers of Italy.
Because the decision was not unanimous, Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati said a vote in the Senate will have to take place on Tuesday to confirm the date.
League party leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini pulled the plug on his coalition government with the 5Star Movement and called the vote of no-confidence last week. If the no-confidence vote passes, as widely expected, President Sergio Mattarella will ultimately decide whether to call a new vote as early as October, or to install a caretaker government based on an alternative majority in parliament.
Salvini wants lawmakers to discuss the motion and vote on it as early as Wednesday. In the League’s view, postponing the official collapse of the government until next week would give the 5Star Movement and members of the center-left Democratic Party (PD) a chance to coordinate to avert a snap election.
5Star leader Luigi Di Maio said Monday that “Salvini betrayed Italians” by pulling the plug on the government, adding that his party isn’t planning any alliance with former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi from the PD.
Renzi has spearheaded a push to create an alternative caretaker government, based on an agreement between the PD and the 5Stars, to last until next spring in order to avoid a snap election.
Salvini was due to meet with Berlusconi and Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy, at some point between Monday evening and Tuesday morning in Rome.
An agreement between them to run together in a snap election could make plans to avert a ballot more complicated.
It could also prompt Salvini to withdraw his ministers from Conte’s Cabinet — a move that would cause an automatic collapse of the government without needing a no-confidence vote in the prime minister.