Parties in Italy seek early polls, reject plan for neutral government

Italian President Sergio Mattarella (pictured) on Monday suggested a neutral government to run the country until December as political parties have again failed in government formation after March elections.

Mattarella urged parties to show “responsibility” and support his government or face fresh elections.

Mattarella’s comments came after a third round of talks among parties to end the political impasse failed.

Five Star Movement (M5S) and a right-wing coalition led by the nationalist League, which won most votes in March, insisted on fresh polls in July.

League leader Matteo Salvini said the choice is either a centre-right government or fresh polls.

Luigi Di Maio, head of M5S, rejected the plan for a ‘neutral’ government and called for July elections.

Mattarella said elections cannot be held in July because many Italians would be on vacation during summer.

A caretaker cabinet could deal with pressing matters including passing the 2019 budget. It could also consider EU decisions on budget and immigration matters coming up next month.

The caretaker government would be dissolved in December and fresh elections held in early 2019, Mattarella said.