The leaders of Italy’s 5-Star Movement have agreed on a coalition with their rivals on the left, the moderate Democratic Party (PD), to stay in power and avoid a snap election. But the deal hinges on an online vote amid 5-Star members, the populist party said Sunday.
Members of the movement will be required to vote on 5-Star’s online platform, Rousseau, on Tuesday. If they endorse the deal, Italy should have a new cabinet by “Wednesday at the latest,” said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Bad blood on the left
Conte is an independent allied with the 5-Star Movement. He resigned after Matteo Salvini pulled his right-wing League party from the ruling coalition in August, and is currently leading a caretaker cabinet.
The deal between the 5-Star and the PD would see Conte keep his position as the leader of a new cabinet. However, if 5-Star members reject the deal, Italy would be headed for an early election in November.
In recent days, the two sides have struggled to overcome their historic enmity, with the PD slamming the idea of putting the deal to an online vote and 5-Star threatening to pull out of talks on Friday.
Salvini still in the lead
On Saturday, 5-Star founder Beppe Grillo publicly endorsed the deal and urged the PD to seize the “unique” chance to govern together. “Let’s try to dream, to have a vision,” he said in a video posted on his blog.
League leader Salvini had called for a no-confidence vote in a bid to force an early election and take advantage of his party’s popularity. Currently, Salvini’s League has 31.2% support compared to the 5-Star’s 24.2%.
The PD party, once led by former prime minister Matteo Renzi, is third with 22.3%, according to a poll published by the Corriere della Sera on Saturday.