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TIMELINE: What happens next after Italy's historic elections?

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TIMELINE: What happens next after Italy's historic elections?
Next steps after Italy elections. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

A hard-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni is set to take power in Italy after Sunday's historic elections. But it might be a while before Meloni and her government actually get to work.


A coalition led by far-right leader Giorgia Meloni is on course to win a parliamentary majority in Italian elections, but forming a government can be a lengthy business.

READ ALSO: Giorgia Meloni’s far right triumphs in Italy’s elections

In the past, it has taken anything between four and 12 weeks for a new administration to take office.

Here is what will happen next in Italy if previous elections are anything to go by.


Official results 

While exit polls were published after voting ended at 11 pm on Sunday night and projections followed early on Monday morning, the interior ministry will not issue official results until during the day on Monday.

President of the Italian Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati (C) reads the results of the vote in the Senate hall after a vote of confidence to the prime minister at Palazzo Madama in Rome on July 14, 2022.

The new Italian parliament will have to convene no later than October 15th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

This will depend on the number of votes to be counted but turnout appeared to be down on the 2018 vote.

Parliament meets

The Italian constitution requires that newly elected members of the two houses of parliament, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, meet no later than 20 days after elections.

This would put their first gathering no later than October 15.

At this time, each chamber must elect a president and only then can the process of nominating members of a government begin.

President leads negotiations

President Sergio Mattarella will begin consultations on who should lead the new government with the Senate and Chamber presidents, the leaders of the main parties and eventually the parliamentary groups.

If the result of the election is clear, these consultations will be fairly short, perhaps two days, though they could also last up to a week.

Then Mattarella, elected by parliament to a second seven-year term as head of state earlier this year, will nominate a prime minister.

READ ALSO: PROFILE: Who is Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s likely next prime minister?

Leader of Italian far-right party "Fratelli d'Italia" (Brothers of Italy), Giorgia Meloni holds a placard reading "Thank You Italy" after she delivered an address at her party's campaign headquarters overnight on September 26, 2022 in Rome.
Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni will likely be Italy's new prime minister. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

This person will accept the mandate to form a new government "with reservations" and begin talks with allies on ministerial appointments and a joint programme.


At the end of these discussions, if all goes well, the prospective premier will return to Mattarella and "lift their reservations".

Finally a government

The new government is announced and sworn in before the president the same day or the next. The prime minister and their ministers then go to the seat of the executive, Palazzo Chigi, for the handover of power.

READ ALSO: EU sees trouble but no breakdown if Italy’s far right takes power

Silvio Berlusconi only needed 24 days in 2008 to take office, while it took 89 for Giuseppe Conte in 2018.


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