Italy’s Prime Minister Resigns, Leaving Country in Crisis

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (C) leaves the Palazzo Madama in Rome on January 19, 2021 after a confidence vote against him and his gouvernment before the Italian Senate. - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pleaded for lawmakers' support on January 19, 2021 as his teetering government faced a confidence …

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation on Tuesday, leaving the country open to political crisis and potential snap elections soon.

Conte made his initial announcement Tuesday morning to the Council of Ministers, stating that he was resigning to break a political deadlock caused by the departure this month of the small Italia Viva party, led by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, from the government.

At 12 p.m., Conte took his resignation to the Palazzo del Quirinale and presented it to Italian President Sergio Mattarella, newspaper Il Giornale reported.

Consultations on the next steps for the Italian government are set to begin on Wednesday and several scenarios are possible, including a reshuffle of the government coalition that could see Conte take up the mantle of prime minister for a third time.

Conte could also see himself replaced by another candidate for the government top spot. Several names mentioned by Il Giornale as a possible successor include Italian judge Marta Cartabia, who could potentially become the country’s first female prime minister.

Cartabia has been highlighted as a possible successor in previous weeks alongside former European Central Bank head Mario Draghi following the departure of Renzi’s party from the government coalition.

Several political figures are also in the potential running for the prime minister position, including former Five Star Movement Leader (M5S) and current Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

If no government is able to form, then Italy could face the prospect of a snap election as early as the spring. Officials had previously mentioned Sunday, April 11 as a possible election date by Il Giornale.

Recent polling has shown that the center-right coalition of populist Senator Matteo Salvini’s League, the national-conservative Brothers of Italy led by firebrand Giorgia Meloni, and Forza Italia could garner nearly 50 percent of the vote.

Alessandra Ghisleri of Euromedia Research has also looked into the impact of Giuseppe Conte forming his own party and running in a fresh election and found that the ruling Democrats could head from 19 percent to just ten percent and be replaced by the Brothers of Italy as the second-largest party in the country.

Ghisleri laid out scenarios of Conte running as head of the M5S, running his own party, and the parties running in their current configurations. In every scenario, the center-right led by Salvini easily defeated the center-left with close to a majority of total votes.

Following the resignation of Conte, Matteo Salvini took to Twitter saying he and the League were committed to getting schools open, working on vaccination distribution, and getting Italian businesses back open again.

“Others fight for [parliamentry seats] and to make a living, we deal with real-life and with Italians,” Salvini said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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