Conte ‘gives back mandate’ to form government after president rejects ministerial candidate

Italy’s prime minister-designate has told the president he has been unable to form what would have been western Europe’s first populist government, potentially paving the way for fresh elections.

A presidential palace official told reporters on Sunday night that Giuseppe Conte “has given back the mandate” to try to form a government that President Sergio Mattarella gave him four days earlier.

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