ROME The populist 5-Star Movement of ex-comic Beppe Grillo has asked President Giorgio Napolitano for the mandate to form an Italian government, a party official said on Thursday.
"The 5-Star Movement was first in number of votes and the primary political force in the recent elections. For this reason we officially ask to be allowed to form a government to start our program," the head of the movement's parliamentary group, Roberta Lombardi, told reporters after meeting Napolitano.
The head of the party's Senate group, Vito Crimi, said the party had proposed a platform of policies including a referendum on Italy's future in the euro during the meeting, part of a series of consultations Napolitano is holding to see if a government can be formed after last month's deadlocked election.
The two officials declined to say who the party's candidate for prime minister would be.
(Reporting By James Mackenzie and Naomi O'Leary; editing by Barry Moody)