MILAN (AP) — The Italian government has set March 4 as the date for the next parliamentary election, formally launching what is shaping up to be a bruising campaign.
The decision Thursday was made after President Sergio Mattarella formally dissolved the sitting legislature following meetings with Premier Paolo Gentiloni and the heads of both houses of parliament.
Italy’s Democratic Party-led government has survived its full five-year term, but under the leadership of three premiers. Enrico Letta was ousted in a political maneuver by Matteo Renzi, who in turn resigned after a failed referendum, ceding the government last year to Gentiloni.
Gentiloni, during his end-of-year press conference, warned against a campaign based on fear-mongering, saying it was not in the best interest of the country.