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Senate Speaker Vote Shows Early Signs Of Coalition Tensions


The vote earlier today in the Italian Senate to elect the chamber's speaker showed some early signs of stress in the right-wing coalition that is set to assume power in the coming weeks.

  • Senator Ignazio La Russa from the right-wing nationalist Brothers of Italy (FdI) was elected as speaker with 116 votes in the 200-member Senate. However, his victory came without the support of the centre-right Forza Italia (FI) of former PM Silvio Berlusconi, with senators from other parties backing La Russa.
  • Forza is set to form a tripartite coalition gov't with the Brothers and Matteo Salvini's right-wing populist League, but withdrew its support for La Russa after disagreements between Berlusconi and Brothers' leader and future PM Giorgi Meloni over cabinet appointments within the new gov't according to Reuters.
  • With 116 in favour of La Russa's candidacy, and the combined senators from FdI and the League totaling 95, 21 opposition senators voted in support of the FdI. Only parties large enough to do this would be the centre-left Democratic Party (40 senators) or the left-wing populist 5-Stars (28). Either of these could have voted in La Russa's favour in an early attempt to sow division in the future governing coalition.

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