Draghi’s measures, a package designed to tackle Italy’s cost-of-living crisis, passed 172 to 39. However, the 5-star boycott leaves the government at real risk of collapse and could lead to snap elections.
After winning the vote but losing the support of 5 Stars, Draghi said in a statement: “I want to announce that this afternoon I will present my resignation to the President of the Republic.”
“Today’s votes in Parliament are very significant from a political point of view. Most of the national unity that has supported this government since its creation is gone,” he added.
He had previously said that he would not lead a government that did not include the 5 Stars.
However, Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected Draghi’s resignation and instead asked him to address parliament to assess the political situation, the Italian presidency said in a statement.
“The President of the Republic did not accept the resignation and invited the Prime Minister to appear before the Cortes Generales to make communications, in order to make an assessment of the situation that has arisen as a result of the result of the session held today in the Senate of the Republic could be held in its own forum,” the statement said.
Several Italian political parties supported Mattarella’s decision.
“Italy, in this difficult moment, cannot do without Draghi,” Renato Brunetta, minister of public administration for the Go Italy party, said in a Facebook post.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio described the decision of his former party, the 5 Star Movement, as “a clear act of irresponsibility, thus condemning the country to the abyss.” Di Maio left the party in June creating a new party called Together for the Future.
In a statement, Di Maio’s party supported the president’s decision, calling Draghi a “precious and fundamental” figure.
“We are working to ensure that a solid majority in support of this government emerges in parliament on Wednesday,” he said.
But Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy, the only opposition party, called for “immediate elections”.
“This nation is in a storm,” Meloni said, listing all the difficulties internationally and domestically, from the war in Ukraine to rising energy prices.
The populist 5-star movement had opposed Draghi’s cost-of-living package on the grounds that it did not go far enough, after long threatening to withdraw its support.
Another important point was the financing of a garbage incinerator in Rome, which infuriated the 5-star movement.
“We are opposed to this decree in terms of method and substance, in particular with regard to the incinerator. It is crazy,” said Maria Domenica Castellone, leader of the 5-Star movement in the Senate, during a debate on Thursday.
Upon taking office, he appointed a cabinet made up of people from a wide range of political parties in Italy.