Italian minister sees new election in Feb

Updated: Dec 07, 2016, 11:39 IST | Agencies

Italy could have an election as early as February

Rome: Italy could have an election as early as February, a minister in Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s outgoing government said yesterday, after talking to Renzi. The comments will add to growing support for a quick vote as the only way to avoid protracted political limbo in Italy following Sunday’s "No" vote on Renzi’s constitutional reforms.

Renzi announced he would step down after his defeat. President Sergio Mattarella told him to stay on until parliament had approved the 2017 budget, expected this week.

Before the referendum, most commentators, and financial markets, assumed that even if Renzi lost and resigned, a temporary unelected government would be installed to tide Italy over until the end of parliament’s term in 2018.

"I forecast there will be the will to go to elections in February," said Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, head of a small centre-right party a crucial part of Renzi’s ruling coalition. He added that he had discussed the issue with Renzi.

The top brass of centre-left Democratic Party (PD) will meet today to discuss the referendum defeat.

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