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Italian PM Calls For Teetering Unity Coalition to ‘Rebuild This Pact’

Italian Premier Mario Draghi attends a debate at the Senate in Rome, July 20, 2022.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy told lawmakers Wednesday that he will remain in office only if the political infighting among the various parties ends.

Prime Minister Draghi offered to resign last week after the populist 5-Star Movement refused to take part in a confidence vote, a move that threatened the fragile unity government that formed in early 2021. But he has been boosted by a wave of public appeals from political and civic leaders and ordinary citizens calling on him to remain in office as Italy faces a host of crucial issues, including inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the implementation of post-pandemic recovery funds from the European Union.

In an emotional speech before the Senate, the former head of the European Central Bank appealed to lawmakers to hold the government together, asking “Are you ready to rebuild this pact?”

Senators were set to hold a public debate on Draghi’s speech, and may hold a vote in response Wednesday.

The center-left Democratic Party has thrown its support behind Draghi, but the center-right Forza Italia and League alliance have said they no longer want to share power with the 5-Star Movement.

If the coalition holds, the next round of parliamentary elections will be held in 2023 as scheduled.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.