Italian PM Draghi wins confidence vote but unity gov’t in tatters

by | Jul 20, 2022 | World

Italian premier Mario Draghi has won a confidence vote in the Senate, but it was a hollow victory after boycotts by three of his key coalition allies in the voting virtually doomed any prospects for his unity government’s survival.The vote on Wednesday went 95-38 in the favour of Draghi’s government in the 315-member Senate after lawmakers deserted the roll call in droves.
The rapid unravelling of Draghi’s 17-month-old coalition could prompt President Sergio Mattarella to dissolve parliament, opening the path to holding an early election, possibly as soon as late September.
Just before the vote, representatives of the populist 5-Star Movement, the conservative forces of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party, and right-wing senators of Matteo Salvini’s Lega (League) party announced they would skip the roll call.
Last week, Draghi had offered to step down after losing support from the 5-Star Movement, a major coalition partner. But Mattarella rebuffed the offer, asking him to go back to parliament to gauge his support.
After hours of debate on his fate on Wednesday, Draghi asked the Senate to vote on a confidence measure calling on him to keep on governing.
“The only way, if we want to stay together, is to rebuild this pact, with courage, altruism and credibility,” Draghi said in an uncompromising speech to the Senate, adding that many Italians wanted the coalition to carry on until elections due early next year.
Draghi had said rep …

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