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Italy's M5S Wants Members to Vote Online on Coalition With Democrats on Tuesday

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ROME (Sputnik) - Italy's 5-Star Movement (M5S) on Monday said it would conduct an online poll among its members on Tuesday to determine whether they support the idea of a coalition with the Democratic Party (PD), a scenario that would allow M5S to stay in power and assemble a new government chaired by former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, thus avoiding a snap general election after weeks of political instability.

In its survey, M5S asked the following question: "Do you agree that the 5-Star Movement should form a government together with the Democratic Party under Giuseppe Conte?" Party members have until Tuesday to vote on M5S's online platform, Rousseau, which will give them time to familiarize themselves with the intended program of the potential new government, the movement said.

Italy's old coalition government led by M5S and the Lega party collapsed on August 20 after Conte resigned from office. President Sergio Mattarella then became engaged in consultations with all political parties in a bid to proceed with one of two solutions: form a new government or call a snap election. Last week, the rival M5S and PD agreed to consider a coalition, but on numerous conditions.

Nominating Conte prime minister was one of the conditions that M5S, the largest political force in the Italian parliament, has put forward to the Democrats. They have been engaged in negotiations for several days over the matter.

The Democrats, in turn, has demanded that M5S leader Luigi di Maio be removed as deputy prime minister and that a number of conditions related to economic, fiscal and foreign policy are met.

Last week, Conte, who previously served as Italian prime minister before resigning in the wake of Lega leader Matteo Salvini calling the old coalition dysfunctional, was tasked by Mattarella with forming a new government. On Sunday, he said he was determined to accomplish this by Wednesday the latest.

Salvini, who allegedly orchestrated the old coalition's collapse in order to convene a snap general election in which he expected his party to prevail and form a right-wing government, has called for a large Lega-led protest rally on October 19 in Rome and expressed doubt that the new coalition would last more than several months.

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