News ID: 211219
Published: 0639 GMT March 06, 2018

Italy’s PD, former nemesis 5-Star could form coalition

Italy’s PD, former nemesis 5-Star could form coalition

Senior figures within Italy’s Democratic Party (PD) voicing their support for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement now that former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has stepped down from the leadership of the ruling party.

Michele Emiliano, governor of the Puglia region and a leading PD member, said Tuesday that Renzi was “impeding the party from supporting” the 5-Star which gained the largest number of votes as a single group in the Saturday general election and is highly tipped to lead a future coalition government.

Political observers say the PD would be in the position of the kingmaker as both the 5-Star and a coalition of the center-right, comprised of the far-right League party and the Forza Italia of former prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, both lack an absolute majority in the parliament.

Leader of the League Matteo Salvini has claimed the right to govern, as has Luigi Di Maio, the 31-year old leader of the 5-Star. However, a coalition between the two seems unlikely and both may turn to the PD to become able to form a government.

Even senior figures of the League, like its economics chief Claudio Borghi, have suggested that a coalition between the 5-Star and the PD would be the likeliest scenario.  Borghi has expressed his hope, however, that the center-right and the 5-Star could find common grounds and form a coalition.

“What I would prefer for my country would be the centre-right and 5-Star because I think we could find common ground,” Borghi said Tuesday.

The possible coalition between the democrats and the anti-system 5-Star was a main reason for Renzi’s Monday announcement that he would resign as PD leader once a new government is formed. He berated colleagues in the PD for opening their arms to the 5-Satr, saying he would never accept an alliance with a party that has been PD’s nemesis for the past years.

“They've said that we're corrupt, mafiosi and that we have blood on our hands due to immigration. I don't believe that they've suddenly changed their minds,” said Renzi Tuesday in a post on his Facebook page, adding that the he would not work with those who “have insulted us for years and who represent the opposite of our values”.

Renzi said going into a coalition with either the 5-Satr or the League-dominated center-right coalition “would be a glaring and tragic mistake” for the Democratic Party.

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