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More parties join centre-left alliance in Italian election campaign
Rome, Aug 8 - Seven weeks before the general election in Italy, the centre-left alliance has won over more parties, but one recently acquired partner has already withdrawn again due to the new additions.
Over the weekend, the Greens, the Italian Left and also the new party of Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, Civic Commitment, joined the alliance led by the Social Democrats (PD), reports dpa news agency.
Already on August 2, the PD of former Prime Minister Enrico Letta had signed an agreement with two centre parties.
However, the centre party Action, which had been the first to join, said it would leave the alliance again after the new additions had been announced.
Party leader and former minister Carlo Calenda said in a televised interview: "I don't feel comfortable anymore. It's undignified to do politics like this."
Letta, for his part, commented on Twitter that "it seems to me that Calenda is the only possible partner for Calenda".
In the Italian electoral system, which allocates part of its seats in parliament according to pure majority voting, such alliances are crucial for success.
Shortly after the fall of Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government in July, the centre-right bloc had already agreed to cooperate.
In opinion polls, the three right-wing parties Brothers of Italy, the League and Forza Italia (Forward/Let's Go, Italy) are leading and have the best prospects of winning the election on September 25.
The strongest force could be the post-fascist Brothers of Italy, whose leader Giorgia Meloni wants to become prime minister.
The centre-left alliance is purely a union of convenience to prevent a far-right government. The parties differ strongly in their programmes.
In the past few days, leading politicians have sometimes been fierce in their attacks on each other, especially on social media, and in some cases are still doing so even after the cooperation has been sealed.
There is to be no electoral cooperation with the Five Star Movement (M5S), which was still the strongest party in the 2018 elections but has recently slumped in the polls and seen the resignation of Foreign Minister Di Maio and other parliamentarians.
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his small party Italia Viva (Italy Alive) were also left out.
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