Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will resign Tuesday as part of a tactical move by his camp to increase his chances of leading a new administration.
Conte's office released a statement on the prime minister's plan to hold a cabinet meeting before he hands his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella.
Conte has been able to hold power after surviving confidence votes in both houses of parliament last week. However, the political crisis triggered by the country's former prime minister, Matteo Renzi, following his party's exit from the ruling coalition has made Conte's majority smaller.
After the withdrawal of the Italia Viva party from the ruling coalition, Conte is expected to be defeated in this week's vote in the senate. Political analysts said that Conte will stand a better chance of receiving a mandate from Mattarella to form a new government if he resigns.
Sources with knowledge in the matter said that Conte has been under pressure from the Democrat Party and the Five Star Movement to preemptively resign before the vote in the senate.
Conte's position as the head of the new government will hinge on the return of the Italia Viva party. Last week, Conte and his political allies insisted that they would no longer work with Renzi if the party returns.
If Conte does succeed in forming a broad coalition and a new government, it would be his third administration in less than three years.
"It is currently unclear whether Conte can succeed in such an effort. The PD and M5S are deeply divided internally on whether to negotiate with Renzi. Both parties are also striving to reduce the power that Conte has accumulated thanks to the pandemic over the last 11 months," analysts at London-based research company Teneo Holdings said.
Conte and his government had received high praise from the public for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic during the first wave. The government immediately imposed a tough two-month lockdown early last year. However, the public praise quickly diminished due to the government's haphazard approach to the crisis in the following months.