Electoral alliances continue to be forged seven weeks before general elections in Italy. The establishment of a center alliance is being negotiated. Former prime minister and head of the small Italia Viva party, Matteo Renzi, is in charge. He is hoping for an alliance with the small center party Azione, led by former Industry Minister Carlo Calenda, as an alternative to the populist camp of the right and left.
Azione left an electoral alliance with the Social Democrats (PD/Partito Democrático) on Sunday, after the PD also allied with the left-wing party Sinistra Italia (SI) and the Greens. “A strong central bloc could ask (current Prime Minister Mario) Draghi to remain in office as prime minister,” Renzi argued, according to media reports.
Calenda examines Renzi’s offer
Both Azione and Renzi are campaigning for the implementation of Draghi’s reform agenda. His concentration government failed in July. Renzi, who was prime minister from 2014 to 2016, said he was not worried about who should lead the proposed Center Party – himself or Calenda. “This is the last of my problems,” he said yesterday. According to its own statements, Calenda is reviewing Renzi’s offer that the conditions for a “third pole” are met.
The centre-right camp formed by the populist right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI/Fratelli d’Italia) party, Forza Italia and Lega are favorites in Italian parliamentary elections on 25 September. According to polls, Fratelli d’Italia alone won 23% of the vote. The center-left camp around the Social Democrats is less likely to succeed.