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Italian elections: Eurosceptic Italy in race to form majority government - by Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Daniel Boffey

The two populist parties that won major upsets in the Italian election – the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League (La Liga) – are in a race to be the first to try to form a majority government after the election produced a hung parliament.

The decision will ultimately fall to Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, who could take weeks to determine whether the anti-establishment M5S, which took 32.6% of the vote, or a fragile centre-right alliance led by the League’s bombastic Matteo Salvini, with 35.7% of the vote, are better equipped to create a majority government.

As Italy and Europe digested the news on Monday that a majority of Italian voters had supported Eurosceptic candidates in the national election, both sides began jockeying for position, saying each had earned the right to lead. The Italian constitution gives Mattarella the power to give the mandate to any party, regardless of who has won the most votes.

While the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had been seen as leading the centre-right coalition, results showed he was beaten by his younger rival on the right, following a campaign in which Salvini emphasised support for radical immigration policies, including mass deportations of immigrants who are in Italy illegally.

Read more: Eurosceptic Italy in race to form majority government | World news | The Guardian

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