Italy’s parliament to be dissolved on December 28th

The Italian parliament will be dissolved on December 28th as the country prepares for general elections, according to news reports.

Italy’s parliament to be dissolved on December 28th
The Palazzo Montecitorio, home of Italy's parliament. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The budget for 2018 was approved last weekend, leaving the coast clear for elections to take place.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will host a press conference on Thursday morning, while President Sergio Mattarella is expected to dissolve parliament in the afternoon, Corriere reported.

Once parliament has been dissolved, a date for the elections can be set. Earlier this month it was reported that March 4th is the most likely date.

As things currently stand, the insurgent Five Star Movement (M5S) is leading in opinion polls at around 28 percent, with the ruling centre-left Democratic Party four points behind in second place, and Silvio Berlusconi’s party in third.

But despite being the most popular party, the M5S is unlikely to win the 40 percent of the vote required to govern alone, and a new electoral law leaves it at a disadvantage owing to its refusal to form a coalition. However, its candidate for prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, last week conceded that if the party fails to win a majority on election night, it might open the door to an alliance with parties who that have won parliamentarian seats. 

With the Democratic Party severely divided, a centre-right coalition made up of Forza Italia and the far-right Northern League and Brothers of Italy is currently predicted to win the most seats.