Italy opens political talks on forming new government

Italy opens political talks on forming new government
Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella is opening formal consultations to see if any party or coalition can muster enough support to form a government after the country's inconclusive elections on March 4.

Consultations open on Wednesday with the parliament speakers followed by parties with the least political weight, continuing on Thursday with those winning the most votes.

The populist 5-Star Movement was the single party with the highest number of votes, while the centre-right coalition led by the anti-migrant League would control the most parliamentary seats. Neither force can govern alone.

Luigi di Maio, 5-Star's leader, said he is open to a government with either the League or the Democratic Party, which suffered its worst-ever electoral loss.

However, he ruled out governing with former premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, citing his tax-fraud conviction.

- PA

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