The Latest: Italy’s president asked for government mandate

International

Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, talks at the phone inside a mobile phones shop in the center of Rome, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. While Italians don’t know if they’ll soon have a new government, let alone who would lead it, U.S. President Donald Trump has cast his vote — for caretaker Premier Giuseppe Conte. A day after the two finished attending the G-7 summit in France, Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he hoped Conte would “remain” as premier. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

ROME (AP) — The Latest on efforts to form a new Italian government (all times local):

7:25 p.m.

Italy’s populist 5-Star Movement has asked the nation’s president to give caretaker Premier Giuseppe Conte the mandate to form a new coalition government, a week after the one he led for 14 months collapsed.

The leader of the anti-establishment 5-Stars spoke to reporters after meeting President Sergio Mattarella at the presidential palace on Wednesday. Luigi Di Maio said: “We told the president we have reached a deal with the PD that would allow Conte to be the next premier.”

After Conte proposes a list of ministers to the president, both chambers of Italy’s parliament would hold confidence votes on the new government he presents.

The stalemate over who might head it ended on Wednesday when the opposition Democrats agreed to 5-Star demands for a renewed premiership for Conte.

The new coalition, however, risks being highly unstable as the two partners — former arch-enemies — have already started fighting in the last few days over a common platform and the makeup of a Cabinet.

___

4:00 p.m.

The leadership of Italy’s opposition Democratic Party has given its backing to Giuseppe Conte as the possible premier of a new government coalition with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

After days of frantic negotiations with the 5-Stars, the Democrats voted Wednesday in favor of Conte’s second mandate to lead what is shaping up as an uneasy alliance between the former archrivals. But the Democrats remain divided over the tie-up.

Democratic leader Nicola Zingaretti will meet President Sergio Mattarella later Wednesday to tell him he wants to forge an alliance with the 5-Stars, in a bid to avoid early elections. The president is expected to assign a mandate to the possible premier late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Conte has resigned after Matteo Salvini’s League abruptly pulled the plug on his government.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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