Italy’s Democratic Party discusses future after poor election showing

Photo: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi
Photo: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Following elections that saw them win only 19% of the vote, leaders from Italy’s former ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD) will assess their options today.

After former prime minister and party leader Matteo Renzi announced his intention to step down last week, the PD faces a dilemma. On today’s agenda is a fierce intra-party debate about whether to resolve Italy’s hung parliament by forming a coalition with either the League or the Five Star Movement — both are far-right on the political spectrum and regarded as populists.

Forming a coalition with either would prevent the two radical movements from combining and potentially sowing chaos on Italian and European politics, although both are opposed to working with each other. A coalition would also allow the PD to exercise some level of control over Italian politics, despite its failure in the elections.

But consigning itself to a junior role in Italy’s next government could badly harm the PD’s chances in future elections. While it remains to be seen which way today’s discussion will go, expect the PD to be crucial in determining the future of Italian politics.

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