Italy's Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, talks at the phone inside a mobile phones shop in the center of Rome, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. While Italians don't know if they'll soon have a new government, let alone who would lead it, U.S. President Donald Trump has cast his vote -- for caretaker Premier Giuseppe Conte. A day after the two finished attending the G-7 summit in France, Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he hoped Conte would "remain" as premier. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

Conte wins crucial support for new Italian govt coalition

August 28, 2019 - 7:00 am

ROME (AP) — The leadership of Italy's opposition Democratic Party has given its backing to Giuseppe Conte as the possible premier of a new government coalition with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

After days of frantic negotiations with the 5-Stars, the Democrats voted Wednesday in favor of Conte's second mandate to lead what is shaping up as an uneasy alliance between the former archrivals. But the Democrats remain divided over the tie-up.

Democratic leader Nicola Zingaretti will meet President Sergio Mattarella later Wednesday to tell him he wants to forge an alliance with the 5-Stars, in a bid to avoid early elections. The president is expected to assign a mandate to the possible premier late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Conte has resigned after Matteo Salvini's League abruptly pulled the plug on his government.