August 28, 2019 / 9:29 AM / 22 days ago

Italy PD chief says has accepted Conte as PM in talks with 5-star

FILE PHOTO: Democratic Party leader Nicola Zingaretti speaks to the media after consultations with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Rome, Italy, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - The head of Italy’s opposition Democratic Party (PD), Nicola Zingaretti, said on Wednesday he had accepted that Giuseppe Conte should return as the prime minister of a new government.

Addressing the PD’s executive body ahead of a meeting with the head of state later in the day, Zingaretti asked for a mandate from his party to tell President Mattarella that he wanted to form a government with the 5-Star Movement.

“We decided to agree to Conte as prime minister because that was what 5-Star wanted,” Zingaretti said, in his first open acknowledgement that the PD had dropped a previous veto against Conte.

At the end of his speech, the PD executive overwhelmingly supported his request for a mandate to form a new coalition.

Zingaretti will meet Mattarella at 1400 GMT.

Reporting by Angelo Amante, writing by Gavin Jones

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