Italy’s Democratic Party leadership to ponder government with Five-Star

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Rome, April 27 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD)’s leadership will meet next week to mull a possible coalition government with the populist Five-Star Movement, acting party secretary Maurizio Martinia said on Thursday after the PD and Five-Star said they were ready to start talks on a coalition government.

“We have decided to convene our leadership on May 3 to decide – as we know how to do as a party – whether and how to launch this debate,” Martina said after meeting lower house of parliament Speaker Roberto Fico.

“We recognise and take stock of the fact that important steps forward have been made,” Martina said, noting that “difficulties and differences” remained between the PD and the Five-Star Movement.

Progress on a tie-up between the PD and Five-Star appeared possible after its leader Luigi Di Maio’s on Tuesday ruled out a coalition government between his party and the centre-right.

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“It is clear that a centre-right government is no longer a feasible hypothesis,” Di Maio said after talks with Fico.

On Monday, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella asked Fico to see by Thursday if a Five-Star-PD government could be formed after talks between Five-Star and the centre-right alliance failed.

The talks collapsed due to the centre-right alliance leader Matteo’s Salvini’s refusal to ditch his far-right League party’s conservative allies, notably Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party and come to the negotiating table alone as Five-Star demanded.

Mattarella has struggled to break the political deadlock since the inconclusive March 4 national election failed to produce an outright winner. Five-Star is the largest party in the hung parliament and the centre-right alliance is the biggest bloc while the PD – which came a poor third – has the seats to play kingmaker.

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