No cabinet reshuffle seen after centre-right win in key Abruzzo regional polls

POLITICS
No cabinet reshuffle seen after centre-right win in key Abruzzo regional polls

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No changes are planned to the populist government after the centre-right's electoral victory in Italy's mountainous Abruzzo region, premier Giuseppe Conte and his far-right deputy and interior minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday.


"The outcome (in the Abruzzo regional polls) seems quite clear, but this does not change anything for central government," Conte said during a visit to the southern city of Campobasso in the Molise region.

"We'll keep working... there is no change to our programme," Conte added.

Salvini's League party took the biggest share of the vote - nearly 28 percent - in Abruzzo's Sunday ballot, while its coalition partner, the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement came third with around 20 percent of the vote, trailing the centre-left.

But Salvini, whose anti-migrant party is the 5 Star Movement's junior partner in the coalition government also said he not foresee any changes to the cabinet.

In Sunday's Abruzzo polls, a conservative alliance led by the League won just over 48 percent of the vote, handing the post of Abruzzo regional governor to the bloc's candidate Marco Marsilio, from the rightwing Brothers of Italy party.

The Abruzzo election was seen as a crucial test of strength ahead of crunch European elections in May and its results highlight the woes of the 5 Star Movement. The country's leading party in the 2018 national election, 5 Star it has seen its popularity fall since taking power.

A new Ispos poll gives the League 34 percent of voter support nationwide - the biggest share of any party. If the League makes strong gains in the European parliamentary polls, this could prompt Salvini to call for a snap election in a bid to govern without 5 Star, according to observers.



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