Giorgia Meloni moves closer to Italian premiership after rightwing parties strike deal

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Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni moved a step closer to becoming Italy’s next prime minister on Wednesday, after her rightwing coalition struck a deal that will see the party with the biggest share of the vote in the coming election get the top job.

A right-wing alliance made up of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League is on track to win 40 percent of the vote on September 25, with the former leading the pack on 23 percent, according to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls.

This type of deal is common in the Italian system, which tends toward broad coalitions. But according to La Repubblica, Berlusconi argued internally that Meloni and her party, which has neo-fascist roots, could be a liability for the alliance. Meloni last week insisted there was “nothing to fear” from her party leading the country.

“Today, Berlusconi and Salvini have chosen to surrender definitively to Meloni,” Democratic Party leader Enrico Letta told reporters just after the alliance’s announcement.

The early election was called after Mario Draghi resigned as prime minister last week after losing the confidence of parliament. Draghi remains as caretaker prime minister until the election.