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Fragile Italian coalition government seemed to have been shattered after Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned on Thursday. The Associated Press reported that his proposal came after a member of his coalition refused to support a bill that would help ease the financial strain on consumers and industries struggling with rising energy prices.
Hours after his offer to resign, Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected the offer and asked Draghi to return to parliament and try to muster enough votes to remain prime minister.
With President Sergio Mattarella retracting his resignation, Draghi’s next big test of survival will be next week, when he has the opportunity to take the final step in front of lawmakers before a vote of confidence is held.
Draghi, who has been in power since February 2021, made the announcement after barely surviving vote of confidence earlier this week.
The Five Star Movement, a populist party that enjoyed widespread success before losing popular support due to political upheavals, refused to take part in the vote. Draghi has repeatedly stated that he will retire if he loses Five Star’s support.
“Tonight I will tender my resignation to the President of the Republic,” Draghi told his cabinet. “The coalition of national unity that supported this government no longer exists.”
Five Star’s refusal to take part in the vote caused bewilderment, as some party members argued that it was not a reflection of the government’s actions, but a matter of internal politics and divisions.
“Today we are not taking part in the vote on this measure … but this position of ours is not about trust in the government,” Senate five-star leader Mariolina Castellone said ahead of the vote.
Despite maintaining his non-five-star majority, Draghi took the lack of support as the death knell for his cabinet.
Italy is only the latest country to face radical challenges to the politics of the current order.
President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country early Wednesday morning, just days after thousands of protesters stormed his residence due to the devastating economic crisis in the country.
Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed to resign, with the president’s resignation taking effect on Wednesday. Wickremesinghe said he would resign as soon as a new government was formed, but demonstrators are demanding his immediate resignation.
In Japan, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated last week after being shot by a deranged gunman upset that Abe was in power.
Italy has had six different prime ministers since 2011, including Giuseppe Conte, who served two different terms from 2018 to 2021.
Associated Press and contributed to this report.