Italy's caretaker Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti has failed in his three-week attempt to form a new government.
LV EXTERIOR Parliament building, Rome.
SV PAN Italian Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti walks past newsmen into building.
SV PAN AND CU Andreotti seated with other Christian Democrats. (2 SHOTS)
CU & SV PAN Christian Democrats seated.
SV & CU Andreotti and other leading Christian Democrats seated facing newsmen. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: Italy's caretaker Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti has failed in his three-week attempt to form a new government. Signor Andreotti's minority Christian Democrat Government collapsed on the thirty-first of January, when the Communists withdrew their parliamentary support and demanded cabinet seats. A spokesman for Italian President Sandro Pertini says veteran Republican leader Ugo La Malfa will now be asked to form an administration.
SYNOPSIS: A Parliamentary election is not due in Italy until 1981, but as Signor Andreotti entered parliament to announced his failure at forming a new coalition government, a premature election seemed inevitable. The Christian Democrats have ruled Italy since the end of the second World War, and have consistently rejected the Communist bid for cabinet seats in a coalition government.
The Christian Democrats are Italy's largest political party, but to stay in power they need the support of the smaller parties. The Socialists resisted attempts to form a new administration which excluded the Communists, so Signor Andreotti decided to hand back his mandate to President Pertini. The President asked Signor Andreotti to try to form a new government when the Christian Democrats fell three weeks ago. Now Signor Pertini is expected to ask Republican leader La Malfa to piece together a government so the country will not be forced into early elections. Signor La Malfa has held various cabinet posts in previous coalition government and was also deputy Prime Minister. He will be Italy's first non-Christian Democrat Premier-Designate in post-war history.
Signor Andreotti's announcement of his failure could signal a new political crisis for Italy, unless some leader can form a coalition government. In the meantime, he will continue to run the country in a caretaker capacity.