Italian Premier Mario Draghi resigned on Thursday after key coalition allies boycotted a confidence vote, signaling the likelihood of early elections and a renewed period of uncertainty for Italy and Europe at a critical time.
Draghi tendered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella during a morning meeting at the Quirinale Palace. Mattarella’s office said the president had “taken note” of the resignation and asked Draghi’s government to remain on in a caretaker fashion.
Draghi’s government imploded Thursday after members of his uneasy coalition of right, left and populists rebuffed his appeal to band back together to finish the legislature’s natural term and ensure implementation of the European Union-funded pandemic recovery program.
The resignation means voters go to the polls again for a new general election – the second in four years – which is likely to take place in late September or early October.
Matteo Salvini’s League, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, and Giuseppe Conte’s Five Star Movement (M5S) all decided to abstain from a confidence vote in the Senate on Wednesday evening.
Draghi went on to win that confidence vote 95 to 38, however his allies’ abstentions mean the end of the national unity pact sealed in February 2021, when Draghi took office.