Italy’s Foreign Minister Di Maio leaves 5-Star Movement after internal split
Di Maio announces to form new group with several dissident lawmakers
Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Tuesday left the 5-Star Movement, announcing the creation of a new political group supporting the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
The split follows months of turbulence and internal battles within the movement, which is now led by former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
“I'm leaving the Movement, it's a painful decision, which I'd have never thought to make,” Di Maio said at a press conference late on Tuesday, in front of a group of fellow party members who will join his new political force.
Di Maio blamed the 5-Stars Movement's leadership for having risked weakening the government led by Draghi, who has been lately criticized for his management of the Ukrainian crisis.
“We needed to choose on which side of history we want to stand,” Di Maio said, citing the Ukrainian war and its dramatic consequences. “The positions of some leaders of the 5 Stars have risked weakening our country.”
Di Maio did not unveil the number of lawmakers who will join his new parliamentary group, but said that the 5-Star Movement will stop being the largest political force in parliament starting Wednesday.
He added that his new political movement will start from the local territories and will not tolerate any form of “hatred, populism, or extremism.”