Loading articles...

Italy reports 'positive' talks on 5-Star-Democratic alliance

Last Updated Apr 26, 2018 at 12:41 pm EDT

Leader of 5-Stars Movement (M5S), Luigi Di Maio, center, flanked by Danilo Toninelli, group leader at the Senate, left, and Giulia Grillo, group leader at the Lower Chamber, talks to the media after a meeting with Lower House speaker and 5-Star movement lawmaker Roberto Fico, in Rome, Thursday, April 26, 2018. Italian President Sergio Mattarella has appointed Fico to explore possible alliances to create a governing majority in Parliament, almost two months after Italy's inconclusive elections. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME – Italy reported the first glimpse of progress on forming a possible government after inconclusive March 4 elections, with the latest round of exploratory talks between the populist 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democrats yielding a “positive outcome.”

But the path to forming a government that can win a parliamentary majority still is long and uncertain, given the Democrats are badly divided between those willing to negotiate a deal with the 5-Stars and those opposed.

The head of Italy’s lower house of Parliament, the 5-Star’s Roberto Fico, reported a “positive outcome” in exploratory talks with the Democrats after being tasked by President Sergio Mattarella to try to break the nearly two-month logjam.

After briefing Mattarella, Fico said talks would continue, and that the 5-Stars were awaiting official word from the leadership of the Democratic Party. Ex-Premier Matteo Renzi has insisted the Democrats must be in the opposition in any 5-Star government, but the interim Democratic head, Maurizio Martina, has expressed a willingness to negotiate.

Mattarella had asked Fico to explore a possible Democratic alliance after talks failed with the right-wing League of the centre-right coalition, which together won 37 per cent of the vote March 4.

The 5-Stars were the single biggest vote-getter of any party, with 32 per cent. The Democrats, who are currently in a caretaker role running the government, posted the worst-ever result for the left in Italy’s history.