Salvini calls for change in electoral law

EPA-EFE/DANIEL DAL ZENNARO

Federal Secretary of Italian the League party, Matteo Salvini, flashes a 'thumbs-up' gesture during his press conference at the party's HQ in Milan, March 5, 2018.

Salvini calls for change in electoral law


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Italy’s leader of the far-right League party, Matteo Salvini, has spoken out in favour of introducing a new electoral law that would give the biggest political alliance additional parliamentary seats.

Salvini flatly rejected the idea of a special purpose government, which in his view would be “at the service of Brussels”, and instead wants to negotiate with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) to convince Matteo Renzi‘s successor to join in a political alliance with the League (formerly the Northern League).

The Democratic Party, however, has made it clear that it has no intention of forming a coalition government with any party from the far-right.

Salvini’s League, with its xenophobic, anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic, and economically libertarian party platforms came in third in Italy’s March 4 elections, having secured 18% of the vote. The party unexpectedly emerged as the dominant partner in a right-wing coalition that includes Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (14%) and the neo-Fascist Brothers of Italy (5%).

As a coalition, the three parties secured 37% of the vote.

The single biggest party was the 5-Star Movement (MS5), a left-wing, Eurosceptic insurgent party led by populist Luigi Di Maio.  MS5 garnered 32% of the votes cast but has no apparent natural political ally. Di Maio has indicated that he would be open to the possibility of allying MS5 with either the League or PD to form a government, provided a 5-Star member serves as Italy’s next prime minister.

Both MS5 and the League are in the process of formulating their own economic bids to gain wider popular support and each is bracing for an inevitable clash with Brussels.

Salvini is promising a dramatic decrease in taxes, proposing an Italian version of trickle-down economics, whereby slashing taxes boosts investment and increases employment.“ In Brussels, they will be happy because everyone is happy if Italy grows,” Salvini said, according to the BBC.

In an interview with Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, Di Maio is promising a multi-year economic plan that will include anti-corruption measures and a guaranteed universal income.

Di Maio said he is open to talks with “all the parties,” although members of PD have also rejected a political alliance with MS5.

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