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Why Italy Is Headed for Yet Another Early Election

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Salvini Calls for Early Italy Election

Political turmoil in Italy spurred snap elections in 1994, 1996 and 2008. Now, another one appears to be around the corner. Near-constant sparring between unlikely bedfellows Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, who’ve shared power as deputy premiers in a populist coalition led by Premier Giuseppe Conte, has come to a head, with Salvini taking steps toward bringing down the government and calling for “swift” early elections. But Conte is seeking a vote in parliament before resigning, and that has major implications for Italy’s budget -- a shared concern for the full European Union.

Salvini, head of the anti-migrant League, and Luigi Di Maio, leader of the insurgent Five Star Movement, clashed on nearly everything during just over a year in government together. Conte, an unelected professor, was plucked from obscurity to mediate between the two coalition partners. Salvini emerged as the stronger political force, especially after the League trounced Five Star in European parliament elections in May. He’s increasingly been seen as Italy’s de facto leader.