New surprise coalition in Italy: missed bet for Salvini?


ITALIAN CRISIS – Italy's chief executive Giuseppe Conte was instructed on Thursday (August 29th) to form a new government after three weeks of negotiations between President Sergio Mattarella and the main Italian parties. The League of Matteo Salvini is the great absent of this new government that should be composed of the Movement 5 Stars and the Democratic Party.

The last Italian political crisis lasted three weeks. It ended with the surprise announcement on Wednesday August 28 of an agreement between Luigi Di Maio's 5 Stars Movement (MS5) and Nicola Zingaretti's Democrat Party. Exit therefore the League, winner of the last legislative elections in Italy, and therefore the electoral ambitions of Matteo Salvini, Vice-President of the Council and Minister of the Interior.

On August 8, Matteo Salvini broke the alliance in power for 14 months in order to call early parliamentary elections, and thus to obtain an electoral tidal wave for his movement. A real gamble for the sulfurous minister, who visibly failed. As a result, Salvini led his entire opposition party, scoring "a goal against his side" in his own words.

"It was a political coup and he missed it," decrypts Marie-Claire Ponthoreau, professor of public law at the University of Bordeaux. "He thought that the 5 Stars Movement and the Democratic Party would not agree, that it was not possible." It must be said that finding common ground was not won in advance between the two parties. But the latter will have overcome their differences and found themselves around a common desire: to oust Salvini from power.

As the analysis Ludmila Acone, historian specialist of Italy and researcher at the Sorbonne University, "Salvini capitalized in elections to gain power, while remaining within the framework of institutions." This was not counting on the dam operated by the MS5 and the Democratic Party, but also on the role played by the democrat Matteo Renzi in the crisis process. The former President of the Council would have argued for the option of a government without the League. "Renzi has a strength: he controls the parliamentary group," explains Marie-Claire Ponthoreau. Indeed, Giuseppe Conte's passage to Parliament is necessary for his government, once finalized, to be approved. "That's where he played a vital role."

A new government must therefore emerge, under the sign of a "new humanism", with the desire to make Italy a country "more just, more inclusive, more competitive, more inclusive". This is in any case what said Giuseppe Conte, officially invested by the President this Thursday, August 29. The chief executive now has a week, a deadline granted by President Mattarella, to form the government program and unveil the names of his ministers. Two tasks that will likely be put to the vote of MS5 voters on the party's website.

On Wednesday evening, Matteo Salvini reacted to his ouster from the government, denouncing a denial of democracy and suspecting the Franco-German couple to be at the helm of such an agreement. "Millions of Italians are wondering what is the point of voting if those we send home in elections come back through the window with palace intrigues." Dignity would like there to be an election. word in democracy: sovereignty belongs to the people, "he told reporters.

The one who is now in opposition has called the Italians to demonstrate in Rome on October 19, in response to this new coalition. "It is strange that someone who was a minister until the day before yesterday calls today to take to the streets and invokes a denial of democracy, which is tantamount to saying that the government that will be born is illegitimate", says Ludmila Acone. For his part, Matteo Renzi welcomed the setback inflicted on his political enemy forever. "Institutions 1 – Populism 0", he wrote in a tweet.

A privileged lasting agreement

However, the Democratic Party and the MS5 can not claim victory too soon, since the agreement is not yet finalized. If the two political forces agree on the social issues, they must compose in order to hold on throughout the term of the legislature. "They have every interest in governing together since in the polls, the League is in the lead," says Marie-Claire Ponthoreau. The idea of ​​a lasting alliance, synonymous with political stability, would also rule out the possibility of a return to politics of Silvio Berlusconi for the presidency of the Republic in 2022. What confirms the professor: "The agreement will also be on the next presidency ".

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