Prime Minister wins crucial confidence vote in Senate

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is attending the debate ahead of the vote of confidence in the Senate on January 19, 2021, at the Palazzo Madama in Rome.

The Italian government narrowly obtained, Tuesday, January 19, the confidence of the Senate after the defection of Italia Viva, the party of Matteo Renzi, which threatened to deprive him of a parliamentary majority. The cabinet headed by Giuseppe Conte had already won a vote of confidence from the Chamber of Deputies the day before.

According to a final count, Giuseppe Conte obtained the confidence of the Senate by 156 votes to 140, out of the 321 seats in the upper chamber, below the absolute majority of 161 votes. Giuseppe Conte notably received the support of three senators appointed for life and two members of Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative party, Forza Italia.

If he had not obtained the support of the Senate, Giuseppe Conte would have been forced to resign and end his coalition government formed in September 2019 with the 5 Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD).

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Towards a reshuffle

To seduce centrist parliamentarians, Giuseppe Conte promised to review his political program and to proceed with a reshuffle, ensuring that he wanted to modernize Italy and accelerate the implementation of the economic recovery plan.

Italia Viva, who withdrew from the coalition government six days ago due in particular to a dispute over the management of the health crisis and its effects on the economy, abstained, as he had done in the House.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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