Matteo Salvini, Italy's deputy prime minister, has reiterated his calls for a snap election, adding that any attempt to block his wishes and install a new ruling coalition would be unacceptable. His League party said it would present a no-confidence motion in the senate in its push to dismantle the tempestuous coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).
The developments follow Salvini’s demand for the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, to reconvene parliament to collapse the administration.
Salvini has already announced his candidacy to be the next prime minister, even though elections are yet to be scheduled. “Give us the strength to take this country in hand and save it,” he told supporters during a rally in the coastal city of Pescara on Thursday night.
Backing for the League has flourished over the past year, with recent polls putting it at 39%, while support for M5S has halved to 15%.
Salvini said his party would run for elections alone, and if it fell short of the 40% majority required to govern it would “choose a travel companion”. The most likely partner is seen as the Brothers of Italy, a party with a neo-fascist lineage that together with the League would create a fully far-right government in a major western European nation.
Giorgia Meloni, the Brothers of Italy leader, said new elections could bring about a government set on making the “politically incorrect reforms that Italy needs”.