April 23, 2018 / 3:32 PM / 10 months ago

Italy president appoints mediator to sound out chances of 5-Star/PD government

FILE PHOTO: Anti-establishment 5-Star Movement Luigi Di Maio looks on during a news conference at the Foreign Press Club in Rome, Italy, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s president has asked the head of the lower house of parliament to sound out the possibility of the 5-Star Movement forming a government with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), a presidential official said on Monday.

Head of State Sergio Mattarella, who is struggling to end seven weeks of political deadlock following inconclusive elections last month, held talks with lower house speaker Roberto Fico and gave him until Thursday to report back with his findings.

Senate leader Elisabetta Casellati last week failed to broker a deal between 5-Star and an alliance of centre-right parties after receiving a similar, highly focussed mandate from the president.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Philip Pullella

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