Italian Senate votes down League’s motion for no confidence motion in PM Giuseppe Conte

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The Senate on Tuesday voted down a League motion for its no confidence motion in Premier Giuseppe Conte to be voted on Wednesday, with the 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD) voting together.

The M5S, PD, the small left-wing Free and Equal (LeU) and autonomist parties said they would vote against tabling the motion in the coming days too.

The League and other centre-right parties came out in favour of tabling the motion.
The M5S said the League should pull the no confidence motion if it wanted to pass a reduction in MP numbers.

League leader Matteo Salvini, who pulled the plug on a 14-month alliance with the anti-establishment M5S last week, earlier said that parliament should vote to cut parliamentary numbers next week and then move straight to a snap election to be held in October.

Salvini said parliament should first vote to cut 345 MPs and Senators – a reform that would come into effect in the subsequent legislature – and then Italy should go to the polls “immediately”.

The League leader said the MP cut should be voted on next week and then an election should be called, spelling elections this autumn.

Salvini accused those who wanted to extend the legislative term by a deal between the PD and his former ally the M5S, and not call a snap election, of being antidemocratic and fascist, a charge frequently levelled at the League.

Salvini, who is also interior minister, earlier blasted the possibility that the PD and the M5S could form a government after he pulled the plug on Conte’s executive saying it would be shameful.

Former PD party leader Matteo Renzi proposed the PD forming an administration with the M5S to pass the budget law and a reform cutting the number of lawmakers and take care of ordinary business until elections are held next year. The proposal was dismissed by PD leader Nicola Zingaretti after it caused a big row within the frequently fractious party and revived talk of a possible split that would reportedly see Renzi loyalists forming a separate group.

Deputy Premier and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio, for his part, said Salvini is set to revive his alliance with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) party for the next election.

Salvini denied reports that he had seen Berlusconi Tuesday, though FI said they had been in touch several times.

Meanwhile the Senate voted that Conte will brief parliament next Tuesday, August 20.
The Senate voted down proposals from FI for the Conte no confidence vote to take place, and from the League for the no confidence motion to be be voted on Wednesday.


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