Setback for the left camp in Italy a few weeks before the eagerly awaited parliamentary elections: The party Azione wants to leave the center-left electoral alliance that was formed just a few days ago before the elections at the end of September.
“This was the most painful decision of my life,” party leader Carlo Calenda told state television broadcaster Rai Tre on Sunday. He justified the step by saying that the alliance also included parties that had voted against the government of the incumbent Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Its unity government collapsed in July, which is why new elections are now pending.
The left-wing camp had formed an alliance with forces from the center and sees itself strengthened for the new elections on September 25. Enrico Letta, leader of the social democratic party PD, Italy’s largest centre-left party, said recently that the alliance with the party Azione makes the parliamentary elections an open race.
However, Italian electoral law favors parties that form broad alliances. According to Letta, his new alliance is hoping for further support from Italy’s fragmented political landscape.
In polls, Azione and her ally Europe only weigh in at five to seven percent. But two senior members of Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia recently switched to Azione.
They justified the step by saying that the political orientation of the conservative bloc had become too extreme. It consists of Forza Italia, the Lega and the “Brothers of Italy”.
The early parliamentary elections were called after Italian President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament after Draghi’s resignation on July 21; it is expected to take place on September 25th.