Prime Minister Designate Mario Draghi.
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LONDON – Mario Draghi has received enough support from the Italian legislature and is now most likely to lead the country’s next government.
Members of the left-wing five-star movement voted in an online poll carried out on Thursday to support the designated Prime Minister Draghi. 59.3% supported the former head of the European Central Bank. Draghi appears to have a solid majority in Rome and not a single party could derail its administration.
He will now face a vote of confidence in parliament next week and will present his cabinet to the president on Friday.
Draghi was asked to resolve a political crisis in the third largest euro economy. The chaos began when a small party called Italia Viva withdrew its support for the fragile coalition government. This meant that the pro-EU cabinet lost the necessary working majority in the Italian parliament, increasing the prospect of an early election at a time of severe health and economic crisis.
After meeting Italian President Sergio Mattarella last week, Draghi agreed to form a government of national unity. Draghi is famous for bailing out the euro from a sovereign debt crisis and is faced with the daunting task of fueling his own country’s economic recovery.
“Today we can say that populism in Italy is weaker, both because of the Draghi intervention and because of the intervention of the pandemic and European integration,” Lorenzo Castellani, historian at the private university LUISS Guido Carli, told CNBC on Friday .
A Draghi-led government, albeit more technocratic than political, would avoid the need for early elections, which most mainstream politicians want to avoid. Polls show that the anti-immigration Lega party would win the most votes in an election and could potentially form an alliance with the far-right Brothers of Italy party.
In addition to the Five Star Movement, the centrist Democratic Party and Italia also supported Viva Draghi. Matteo Renzi, the leader of Italia Viva, told CNBC last week that he believes the country will be in “very good hands” with Draghi.
“I’m so happy because Italy is in very good hands today,” said Renzi. “Mario Draghi was the Italian who saved the euro. Now I think he will be the European who will save Italy,” he added.
However, there are doubts how long Draghi’s tenure will be.
“After a year of this exceptional situation, the 2023 elections will draw closer and the parties will again pay attention to their interests,” said Castellani on Friday. “Draghi may be effective for a few months, but it will be difficult to see Draghi as a permanent solution to Italian politics,” he added.