Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018

Cracks appear in 5-Star Movement's hard line


Rome, March 18 - Cracks have appeared the 5-Star
Movement's (M5S) hard line after a handful of the
anti-establishment group's lawmakers defied orders and voted for
the centre-left's candidate to be Senate speaker at the weekend.
M5S leader Beppe Grillo, who is hostile to the established
parties and had ordered his movement's Senators to abstain, was
furious, saying there would be consequences for the rebels.
After inconclusive votes on Friday, Pier Luigi Bersani's
centre-left alliance managed to get both of its candidates
elected as Speakers for the House and Senate, Italy's third- and
second-highest institutional roles respectively behind the
After failing to reach an agreement for a consensus
candidate, the centre-left had no trouble getting Laura
Boldrini, a former spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees, elected into the key position in the House.
However, the centre-left, which came first in last month's
general election but failed to win a working majority in the
Senate, was not sure of being able to carry the day in the Upper
In the first rounds of voting the Senators belonging to the
M5S, which holds the balance of power in the Upper House after
capturing a massive protest vote last month, backed their own
But when it came to Saturday's run-off between the two
frontrunners, some M5S Senators opted to back the centre-left's
man, former chief anti-Mafia judge Pietro Grasso, rather than
run the risk of seeing Renato Schifani, the candidate
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre right, keeping the job he
held in the previous parliamentary term.
Three M5S Senators have admitted voting for Grasso.
The outcome shows comedian-turned-politician Grillo, who
has not been elected himself, may have problems imposing
discipline on his novice lawmakers.
Nevertheless, experts say it is still unlikely that Bersani
will manage to convince enough M5S Senators to win a confidence
vote in a government led by him and break the political deadlock
the country is currently embroiled in.
Bersani has tried to win the M5S over with an eight-point
platform reflecting many of the movement's policies, including
cuts to the number of parliamentarians and other measures to
reduce the cost of politics.
Grillo, who says Bersani's Democratic Party (PD) is part of
a corrupt, malfunctioning system that he wants to revolutionise,
has responded with insults, which have included him describing
Bersani as a "dead man talking".
With Bersani ruling out the hypothesis of forming a grand
coalition with Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, the
prospect of Italy having to return to the polls later this year
seems likely.
President Giorgio Napolitano is set to start consultations
with party leaders on Wednesday, after which he will ask one of
them, probably Bersani, to try to form a government.

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