The Government of the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, received this Tuesday the support of a simple majority in the Senate, after exceeding the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies by an absolute majority on Monday, and now it must decide whether to continue leading the country in a weak situation and whether to make changes in the ministries.
Total, 156 senators out of 161 needed to obtain an absolute majority they seconded the Executive, while 140 voted against.
Conte now has a weak but sufficient majority in the Senate if he decides to go ahead with his cabinet, but this scenario, allowed by the Constitution, must have the approval of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who in recent days had asked for stable majorities.
The Executive of Conte will also be able to add other support in the coming days, including that of a senator from the ruling 5 Star Movement (M5S), who did not attend the session because he is sick with covid-19.
They have supported the cabinet of the current head of the Government the M5S, Democratic Party (PD) and Free and Equal parties (all three in a government coalition), two senators from Forza Italia, several from the Mixed Group and also at least three senators for life.
The numbers in the Senate were very tight and every vote counted. This explains the delay in the count, after more than 11 hours of debate and one hour of voting, because two senators, Alfonso Ciampolillo (former M5S) and Riccardo Nencini (Italian Socialist Party), arrived late but argued that they were present in the classroom before the voting ended and they asked to give their opinion.
The president of the Senate, Elisabetta Casellati, who had counted them as absent, was forced to watch the video again to check the time they had arrived in the upper chamber and if it had been before or after the vote was considered closed.
Finally accepted their vows because, he said, they had arrived only seconds before the bell rang.
Conte appeared in the Senate on Tuesday and the Chamber of Deputies read the same speech on Monday, although this time he added that, despite the fact that “numbers are important“What matters most is” the quality of the political project. ”
Just like you did on Monday, in the lower house, appealed to the responsibility of parliamentarians and avoid a crisis in the country in the midst of a pandemic.
And he again begged for help, in this case from the senators: “To all those who have the destiny of Italy in their hearts, I ask you today: Help us. Help us get out again as quickly as possible. Help us heal as soon as possible the wound that the current crisis has produced in the trust pact established with the citizens. ”
Despite the pandemic and being 90 years old, the senator for life and survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, Liliana Segre, wanted to support Conte and he traveled from Milan to Rome expressly to participate in the session in the upper house.
Along with her, At least two other of the six senators for life also voted “yes”: former Prime Minister Mario Monti and scientist Elena Cattaneo.
Renzi accuses Conte
One of the most anticipated appearances of the day was that of Senator Renzi, who accused Conte of “enrocarse” to stay in power with less support.
“You have legitimately chosen a strategy: Faced with our request to do politics, to talk about young people, innovation, tourism, technology, he chose to cast himself, play the attack card, “he reproached.
“We need a stronger government,” he insisted.
The leader of the far-right Liga, Matteo Salvini, also intervened, reiterating that the country must hold general elections, which according to polls the right-wing coalition formed by his party would win, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia.
“If you are doing everything well, what is the problem in asking Italians for their opinion?” He asked, while accusing Conte of not seeking responsible parties in parliament but “accomplices not to lose power.”
And he noted that “questioning a government that has failed in everything is not a right it is the duty of every Italian citizen, “he said.
Conte comes out weakened
Conte will now try to maintain his Government, although without the support of Italy Live in the Senate it will be in a position of greater weakness than it had before, since it previously had an absolute majority in both houses.
Already in his turn to reply in the Senate, Conte pointed out that he will study with the government forces and with those that have supported a possible reorganization of his cabinet. “We will evaluate an issue that we were already analyzing: how to strengthen the government team”, said.
The head of the Italian Executive is expected to go tomorrow to the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to discuss the situation of his administration, which you must give your approval.
It would not be the first time that Italy is governed by an Executive without an absolute majority in one of the two seats of Parliament (the country adds 66 governments in 73 years of democracy).
In total Italy was led by thirteen executives without an absolute majority, chaired by figures such as the Christian Democrats Alcide De Gasperi and Giulio Andreotti, the conservative Silvio Berlusconi or the leftist Massimo D’Alema that lasted one or two years at most.