Italian PM Conte forms new coalition government

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Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday formed a new government, a coalition of the populist 5-Star Movement and left-leaning Democratic Party (PD) that shuts right-wing leader Matteo Salvini out of power.

Six days after President Sergio Mattarella tasked him with trying to form a new coalition, Conte reported back on Wednesday to say he succeeded.

Conte named 5-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio as foreign minister and Roberto Gualtieri as finance minister.

Lawyer and former Milan security chief Luciana Lamorgese will take over from far-right leader Matteo Salvini, who prompted the crisis, as interior minister.

Deputy PD leader Lorenzo Guerini will be the new defence minister, Conte said.

His first, 14-month-old government collapsed last month when Salvini yanked his anti-migrant League party out of the populist coalition in a foiled bid to trigger early elections so he could gain the premiership himself.

But, despite bitter rivalry, the PD has agreed to govern with the populist 5-Star Movement, which again will be senior partner.

The coalition must win mandatory confidence votes in the legislature’s two chambers. Together, the PD, 5-Star, and a tiny left-wing party should muster a slim majority.