Italy braces for new elections as PM Draghi loses support from key allies

Italy is preparing for a new general election after three key coalition partners decided to withdraw support from Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s ruling majority.

Matteo Salvini’s Liga, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Giuseppe Conte’s Five Star Movement (M5S) decided to abstain from a vote of confidence in the Senate on Wednesday.

Draghi won it 95 to 38, however his allies’ abstention marks the end of the national unity pact made in February 2021 when Draghi took office.

He is expected to tender his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday, paving the way for a new general election – Italy’s second in four years.

Mattarella had already rejected the 74-year-old’s resignation on July 14 after M5S abstained during a vote on the stimulus package.

However, President Mattarella urged Draghi to reconvene the parties in parliament and try to garner the necessary support to stay.

Draghi renewed his calls for unity in his Senate speech on Wednesday, but then the League and Forza Italia announced they would no longer remain in the coalition as long as M5S was part of it.

According to Italian media reports, new general elections could be held between late September and early October this year.