- Italian President Sergio Mattarella has ordered the dissolution of both houses of Parliament following the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
- Mattarella said in Rome that he signed a similar edict.
- This makes it clear: Italy will elect a new parliament earlier than planned. Early parliamentary elections are expected on September 25.
- In the vote of confidence in the Senate the previous evening, Mario Draghi apparently missed the broad approval he wanted.
In fact, the election date was not until the spring of 2023. “Dissolving the Chamber of Deputies is always the last option,” Mattarella said. The political situation led to this decision.
In the middle of the holiday season, people in Italy are likely to face turbulent election campaign weeks. Voting must be completed within 70 days. Italy’s Rai station reported that the elections will be held on September 25. The Draghi government will remain in power until there is a new prime minister. When that will be unclear.
Coalition negotiations can continue depending on the outcome of the elections. According to experts, the new government may not be in power until early November.
Far right Fratelli d’Italia in front
According to the latest opinion polls, the far-right Fratelli d’Italia, led by party leader Giorgia Meloni, is currently in the lead. Together with the large centre-right parties, Forza Italia led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the right-wing Lega led by Matteo Salvini, a majority in Parliament may be possible.
Among other things, such a government is likely to be problematic for immigration policy and also for relations with the European Union.
Draghi won the confidence vote, but missed the goal
Mattarella’s move was already announced shortly before the appointment of the two Speakers of Parliament, Maria Elisabetta Casellati (the Senate) and Robert Fico (the House of Representatives), since he called for their convening on the basis of Article 88 of the Constitution, which deals with the dissolution of both houses. Earlier, Draghi submitted his resignation to the 80-year-old Sicilian Mattarella.
For Draghi, his government is clearly about to come to an end. Three of his ruling parties did not vote in the Senate on Wednesday and did not participate in the vote. And so the 74-year-old Romanian failed to achieve the goal of a broad parliamentary majority – even though he did win a vote of confidence.
The first resignation was not accepted
He had already wanted to resign a week ago when the left-wing populist Five Star Movement, also in the Senate, did not vote for him. At the time, however, Mattarella was still dismissive and sent Draghi to report to Parliament – it was almost an attempt to keep his government alive after all.
Political Rome has been at odds ever since, with parties accusing each other of being responsible for the downfall of the Draghi government and the escalation of the governmental crisis. Politically, it will likely become more difficult for Draghi to push through important reforms outlined by the European Union that are in fact pending in Parliament. The country has to implement these in order to get billions of reconstruction money from Brussels.
Abroad, Draghi was also seen as a guarantor of stability for Italy, which was at times under turbulent rule. He made the country of 60 million people visible again on the international stage, traveling to Kyiv with Chancellor Olaf Schultz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Economically, there is a lot at stake for Italy.
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