In the middle of the summer, Italy swims in the middle of a political crisis. Matteo Salvini, Minister of the Interior and leader of the League (far right), announced Thursday his willingness to end the coalition government with the 5-star Movement (M5S), calling for early parliamentary elections.
M5S says "ready"
The misunderstanding about the issue of the high-speed rail link between Lyon and Turin, a case the 5-star movement fought for, has apparently defeated the coalition, which was already weakened by many disagreements.
The announcement of the populist leader has taken short his now ex-ally, Luigi Di Maio, who was quick to react. "We are ready, we have never given any importance to holding government positions," said the M5S leader to the press. Council President Giuseppe Conte replied that "it is not up to the Minister of the Interior to convene Parliament, it is not up to him to dictate the stages of the political crisis" .
Senate debate on a motion of censure
According to the media, a debate in the Senate on a motion of censure against the head of government Giuseppe Conte could take place around August 20. The League said it had already tabled its motion of no confidence in the upper house. The motion will have to be considered "from Monday or Tuesday," according to Senate standards, and within a maximum of ten days, that is, before August 20. If the text is adopted, it will be enough to bring down the government, the vote in the Chamber of Deputies is not essential.
Giuseppe Conte will then have to hand over his resignation to the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who will ask him to remain at the head of the executive for a few more days, the time to conduct consultations. If it finds, as is likely, that there is no parliamentary majority around a political representative, it will decide to dissolve Parliament. According to the Italian media, this could happen around Monday, August 26th.
Elected elections in the fall
From then on, the Constitution requires the organization of elections within 50 to 70 days. In practice, this usually means a delay of two months, the time of logistical preparations. According to the Italian media, the League wants the parliamentary elections to be held in the second half of October, especially on Sunday the 13th, 20th or 27th.
The question of who will lead Italy to the polls remains unresolved: the outgoing Conte government or another government. So it is also the reaction of the Head of State that is long overdue. He is the only one who can dissolve Parliament, but he is strongly opposed to the setting up of elections in the autumn, since this period will be dedicated to the preparation of the budget for the following year.
Salvini in a strong position
If early elections were to take place, whatever their date, the League will be in a strong position after having collected 34% of the vote in the European elections. Polls even give it between 36 and 38% of voting intentions. If the party makes such a score, it potentially allows it to govern alone, or with the support acquired in advance of the post-fascist party Fratelli d'Italia. Salvini's decision aims to capitalize on "favorable polls rather than worry about the country," criticized Giuseppe Conte and Luigi Di Maio.
In Europe, the M5S had meanwhile dropped sharply to about 17% of the voting intentions, half less than its score in the legislative elections of March 2018, and has not come back since. In the legislative elections of March 2018, which led to the formation of this coalition, the report was however reversed. Luigi Di Maio's M5S had 32% of the vote, compared with 17.6% of the vote for the League.