Italy’s Democrats dismiss alliance with 5Stars, citing ‘irreversible’ rift

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The leader of Italy’s Democratic Party, Enrico Letta, on Monday ruled out striking a deal with the populist 5Star Movement ahead of September’s national election.

Italy has been plunged into political uncertainty since Mario Draghi resigned as prime minister last week, after three parties in his coalition — Giuseppe Conte’s 5Star Movement, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League — withdrew their support.

Parties are now gearing up for an early election, due September 25. In an interview with la Repubblica published Sunday, Letta said the Democrats were weighing possible alliances.

The Democrats, currently second in the polls, had been expected to link up with the 5Stars in a bid to counter the rise of the far-right Brothers of Italy party. But the role the 5Stars played in the current crisis prompted the Democrats to dismiss such an alliance, Letta said.

“The rift with the 5Stars for this election is irreversible,” Letta told Rai Television on Monday. “I told Conte that if he took that sort of decision, this would be the consequence.”

The Brothers of Italy, led by Giorgia Meloni, has been ranking first in the polls with 23 percent, with its likely coalition partners Forza Italia on 8 percent and the League on 15 percent.