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14 Jul, 2022 17:56

Italian president rejects PM Draghi’s resignation

The Italian PM earlier announced he would step down after losing the support of his coalition partner
Italian president rejects PM Draghi’s resignation

Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday rejected Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s attempt to resign. Draghi announced his intent to step down after he survived a confidence vote but lost the backing of his largest coalition partner.

Draghi met with Mattarella following a confidence vote in the Italian Senate earlier in the afternoon. While the PM comfortably survived the vote by 172-39, the ballot was boycotted by the Five Star Movement, the largest partner in Draghi’s broad coalition government.

Having earlier stated that he would not remain in power without the support of the Five Star populists, Draghi said that he would step down as the conditions to govern “no longer exist.”

However, Mattarella has the power to accept or reject the prime minister’s resignation, and he chose the latter option.

The move sends Draghi back to Parliament where a fresh confidence vote will likely be held. Should Draghi win the support of lawmakers, snap elections could be avoided.

Mattarella appointed Draghi, who formerly led the European Central Bank, in 2021, in a bid to stave off an economic downturn as Italy recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Draghi has faced persistent criticism from the Five Star Movement’s leader, Giuseppe Conte, over rising inflation and energy costs, as well as his support for EU sanctions on Russia and weapons shipments to Ukraine. Conte’s opposition to Draghi’s arming of Kiev recently split the Five Star Movement, with former Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio leaving to form his own pro-Draghi faction.