Italy 5-Star Chief Calls Party Confidence Vote After EU Election Flop

May 29, 2019
May 29, 2019, at 4:57 a.m.

安博电竞官网 www.haorencar.com Italy 5-Star Chief Calls Party Confidence Vote After EU Election Flop

Reuters

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and 5-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio casts his vote in the European election in Pomigliano d'Arco, Italy May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Ciro de LucaReuters

By Gavin Jones and Silvia Aloisi

ROME (Reuters) - The leader of Italy's 5-Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, said on Wednesday he would seek a confidence vote from party supporters after a bruising defeat in European elections.

The ballot will take place online on Thursday on a dedicated platform linked to the party, Di Maio -- who is deputy prime minister in a coalition government with the right-wing League -- said in a post on 5-Star's blog.

"Today, I have the right to know what you think of my actions. I want to hear the voice of the citizens who elected me as political leader a few years back," Di Maio said.

The League, led by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, won 34.3% of the vote in Sunday's election, doubling the score of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which took just 17.1% and was pushed into third place by the center left.

That almost exactly inverted the result of national elections a year ago that led to the coalition between the two.

Since Sunday's vote, Salvini has been behaving as if he were already prime minister, promising swinging tax cuts and calling for a European Union meeting to change the bloc's budget rules, while Di Maio has come under attack from within 5-Star.

Prominent 5-Star senator Gianluigi Paragone said on Wednesday that Di Maio had too much power in the party and too many roles in government.

"If you want to act like a Superman, you have to demonstrate you really are one," he told newspaper Corriere della Sera.

As well as being 5-Star leader and deputy prime minister, thirty-two year-old Di Maio serves as industry minister and labor minister in the government formed last June.

5-Star's ministers and parliamentarians will meet on Wednesday evening to discuss the election debacle and how best to counter Salvini, who is also deputy prime minister and is now seeking to drive the policy agenda.

If 5-Star bows to the League's demands it risks losing more support among its core voters. If it does not, that might trigger a government collapse and fresh elections which would be likely to reward Salvini.

"I haven't stopped working for the last 6 years and I think I have always honored my duties, always making myself accountable to all the movement's members and activists," Di Maio said.

When he was elected party leader in September 2017, Di Maio was widely dismissed as a puppet for the movement's founder, comedian Beppe Grillo, but he rapidly consolidated his power while Grillo has disappeared from the limelight.

In the March 2018 election, 5-Star won almost twice as many votes as any other party, but Di Maio's claim to be named prime minister was vetoed by Salvini when the two parties joined forces in government.

Their compromise choice of premier, Giuseppe Conte, is a former academic who is close to 5-Star but is not a member of either party.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones and Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Stephen Powell)

Copyright 2019 Thomson Reuters.

Galleries

Civic

The Week in Cartoons: June 24-28

Politics

The Women of the 116th Congress

The Civic Report

The Year in Photos 2018

Recommended

National News

SCOTUS Will Hear Trump Bid to End DACA

National News

Glass Bottles Contain Harmful Levels of Lead

Best States

10 Things About Missouri

Best States

Future of Film in Georgia

The Civic Report

Providence Schools: A Profile of Dysfunction

Recommended

The 10 Worst Presidents

Not all U.S. presidents are missed once they leave the White House.

Andrew Soergel and Jay TolsonDec. 31, 2014

Cartoons on President Donald Trump

June 18, 2019, at 10:30 a.m.

Photos: Obama Behind the Scenes

A collection of moments during and after Barack Obama's presidency.

June 27, 2018

Photos: Trump and His Supporters

A collection of moments before and during Donald Trump's presidency.

Jan. 30, 2019

SCOTUS Will Hear Trump Bid to End DACA

A decision on whether Trump can rescind a program that extends deportation protections to nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants will likely come months before the 2020 eleciton.

Lisa HagenJune 28, 2019

Glass Bottles Contain Harmful Levels of Lead

A study found that toxic chemicals leached from the bottles when exposed to rain in a landfill site.

Alexa LardieriJune 28, 2019

The Demographics Behind American Division

A new analysis says political differences between Americans of different backgrounds are hardening.

Susan MilliganJune 27, 2019

Houses Passes Senate’s Border Aid Package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scrapped the House measure and agreed to take up the Senate version of the bill to assure passage.

Lisa HagenJune 27, 2019

NASA Announces Mission to Saturn’s Moon

The Dragonfly mission involves a drone-like lander that will launch in 2026 and arrive to Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in 2034.

Cecelia Smith-SchoenwalderJune 27, 2019

Supreme Court Blocks Citizenship Question, For Now

Critics argued that adding the question, which hasn’t appeared on the decennial questionnaire since 1950, will deter immigrants and result in an undercount of the population.

Lisa HagenJune 27, 2019