Five Star reaches out to leftists for gov’t

Five Star reaches out to leftists for gov’t

ROME
Five Star reaches out to leftists for gov’t

Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement reached out to leftist parties yesterday in a bid to end the stalemate from a general election, even as a rightwing alliance lobbied for its right to rule.

The Five Star Movement (M5S) became the country’s largest single party in the March 4 ballot after picking up nearly 33 percent of the vote. But it finished second behind a rightwing coalition which obtained 37 percent.

Both formations would need allies to form a parliamentary majority. Observers say the most likely end to the impasse is an alliance between the M5S and the center-left Democratic Party (PD).

It’s the most accessible road to take, even if the route is uphill, and steep,” wrote the Corriere Della Sera.

Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio outlined his government program on March 7 in a letter to La Repubblica, Italy’s main center-left newspaper.

“Ten million poor people can’t be ignored... The security of our cities day and night can’t be ignored. Unemployment, especially among the young, can’t continue to run rampant,” Di Maio wrote.

“That is the message that has come loud and clear from the polls.”

The ruling PD’s coalition collapsed to third place with just under 23 percent of the vote, but could play kingmaker for a future government.

Matteo Salvini, head of the far-right League party which picked up the most votes in the rightwing coalition, has made his own overtures to rival parties.

He has however ruled out allying with the M5S.

Salvini, who finished ahead of his coalition partner Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy), has said he is open to negotiating with anyone who “shares our program.”

Crucially, Salvini received on March 6 the endorsement from three-time former premier Berlusconi who said he would respect their pre-election deal that whichever party came first could put forward a prime ministerial nominee.

Italy, Five Star Movement, Elections