Outgoing foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni asked to form new government

Renzi stalwart asked to propose list of new ministers in record time.

Outgoing foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni has been invited by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new government following the resignation of prime minister Matteo Renzi in the wake of his crushing defeat in the constitutional referendum on 4 December.

Gentiloni, a loyal member of Renzi’s own Partito Democratico (PD), has accepted the invitation subject to verification of support through consultations with all the parties represented in parliament.

The right-wing and anti-European opposition party Lega Nord and the anti-establishment Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) have refused to attend the talks.

I am aware of the urgent need to give Italy a government with full powers,” said 62-year-old Gentiloni, adding that he would move “within the same framework” as his predecessor given the “unwillingness of the opposition parties to participate in a government of responsibility”.

He also said he would facilitate the process of drawing up a new electoral law to replace the two separate laws currently governing the election of the chamber of deputies and senate.

Italy’s former chief diplomat is expected to present a proposed list of ministers to Mattarella on Monday. This will likely contain many of the names in the outgoing cabinet, but there will also be a few new entries to reflect the support for the new government in parliament.

Meanwhile Renzi left Palazzo Chigi, the seat of government, definitively on Sunday.

In a post to his Facebook page Renzi said he had “suffered” in closing the packing cases, but that his experience as a boy scout taught him that “an arrival serves only to set off once again”.

He also appeared to confirm his commitment to politics.

Photo. La Repubblica