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The refusal of the PD to support Giuseppe Conte as ‘premier’ surprises the M5S

August 24, 2019

ROME, Aug. 24 (Reuters / EP) –

The contacts between the 5 Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party to form a new coalition government in Italy have met this Saturday with the surprise of the PD's refusal to support Giuseppe Conte for a new mandate at the head of the Government. Conte led the Coalition Government between the M5S and the ultra-right-wing Liga party so far.

This Friday both parties began negotiations despite their traditional aversion to try an agreement after the resignation of Conte last week after months of clashes between the two formations.

On Thursday, President Sergio Mattarella announced a period of five days to reach an agreement and avoid calling early elections. After Friday's meeting between the leader of the M5S, Luigi di Maio and the secretary general of the PD, Nicola Zingaretti, the second defended that the new government would have to be a point and a separate, a break with the past, including the new prime minister : “It's nothing personal,” he said.

He later explained through Facebook that the PD is open to a frank and comprehensive dialogue with the M5S that includes a list of program priorities such as the one raised by the Di Maio party. “We will try to continue working to open a new political stage,” he said.

On Saturday, Conte has stated since the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he will continue to serve as acting prime minister and has said that it is a matter of policy, not of people. “The political stage (of the M5S-Liga government) is closed and nothing can be done to reopen it,” he said.

One of the cardinal demands of the M5S is that the PD agrees to reduce the number of deputies from 945 to 600. In response, a PD deputy, Andrea Orlando, has accused the M5S of asking more and more. “The other day were 10 priority points. At 2:00 pm yesterday was the reduction in the number of deputies and at 9:00 pm it was Conte or nothing. It is very difficult as well,” he argued.

Meanwhile, from the League they regret having dropped the Government two weeks ago and one of its leaders, Fabio Cantarella, has assured this Saturday in a statement to the agency ADNKronos that they would be willing to offer Di Maio the post of prime minister.