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Conte Wins Crucial Support for New Italian Govt Coalition

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte speaks on the phone on the second day of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Aug. 25, 2019.

The leadership of Italy's opposition Democratic Party has given its backing to Giuseppe Conte as the possible premier of a new government coalition with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

After days of frantic negotiations with the 5-Stars, the Democrats voted Wednesday in favor of Conte's second mandate to lead what is shaping up as an uneasy alliance between the former archrivals. But the Democrats remain divided over the tie-up.

Democratic leader Nicola Zingaretti will meet President Sergio Mattarella later Wednesday to tell him he wants to forge an alliance with the 5-Stars, in a bid to avoid early elections. The president is expected to assign a mandate to the possible premier late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Conte has resigned after Matteo Salvini's League abruptly pulled the plug on his government.