ROME - Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's broad coalition government faced the risk of collapse if the 5-Star Movement carried out its threat to pull out of the administration.
Speaking at a news conference in Rome, Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing League said his party would not continue to back Draghi if 5-Star withdrew from the coalition, adding that early elections were the best solution. "If a coalition party doesn't back a government decree that's it, enough is enough, it seems clear that we should go to elections," he said.
Italy is due to hold a national election in the first half of 2023.
The leadership of 5-Star was holding a meeting on Wednesday to decide whether to remain in the coalition, having issued a series of policy demands ahead of a key vote of confidence on Thursday.
Italy's centre-left Democratic party (PD) is also unwilling to form a new government without 5-Star, a party source told Reuters.
Former European Central Bank head Draghi has been leading the coalition since February 2021 but tensions between its parties have been rising as Italy heads towards its next election.
(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Angelo Amante, writing by Gavin Jones and Keith Weir, editing by Giulia Segreti)