Former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has been officially appointed the leader of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S). The party is the largest in parliament but is deeply divided and has fallen in the opinion polls.
Conte left his post as prime minister in January and was proposed as the party’s new leader several months ago, but internal battles within the party delayed the official vote on membership. In the online poll, where Conte was the only candidate, he had support of about 93 percent, or about 62,000 votes.
M5S is part of Mario Draghi’s coalition government and Conte promised the government to continue supporting.
Former law professor Conte was appointed as a non-partisan prime minister after the Five Star Movement’s victory in the 2018 elections. The party was the largest in two governments, but its support has fallen sharply according to opinion polls and many party deputies have left the party or been expelled.
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