Italy’s Conte Wins First Key Vote for Government’s Survival
Italy’s national flag colors on the facade of Chigi palace in Rome, Italy. (Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg)

Italy’s Conte Wins First Key Vote for Government’s Survival

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a crucial confidence vote Monday, after lawmakers backed his governing program amid a deepening rift within his coalition.

Lawmakers in parliament’s lower house backed Conte’s call to reach an agreement to relaunch the country, currently battling the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. Conte secured 321 votes, an outright majority in the 629-strong lower house, while 259 lawmakers voted against him.

Earlier Monday, the former law professor, who’s now in his second term as premier, made an appeal to recruit parliament’s pro-European centrists and unaffiliated lawmakers after the small Italy Alive party headed by ex-premier Matteo Renzi ditched the ruling coalition last week.

Conte’s pitch to win support centered on a spending plan for Italy’s European Union’s recovery funds -- the issue that triggered Renzi’s pullout -- and the need to handle a resurgent coronavirus pandemic.

While the favorable result was widely expected, Conte is set to face a similar vote in the Senate Tuesday, where his majority is razor-thin and the outcome more uncertain.

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