Mr Conte said it was not up to the League leader to dictate when the government falls and new elections are held. “It is not up to Salvini to summon the houses of parliament, it is not up to the interior minister to decide on the time frames of a political crisis in which many other institutional parties intervene,” he said.
He said he disagreed with Mr Salvini’s judgment that the coalition was irretrievably broken after 14 months in power, saying it had managed to achieve a lot.
Sergio Mattarella, the president of Italy, is the only authority who can dissolve parliament and call an election.
He could first try to form a new government from the existing legislature.
A new vote could result in a hard-Right government formed by the League and the small Brothers of Italy party.
It is not clear if and when a new election would be held. The Italian media is speculating about a vote in October.
“Government crises in Italy are complicated, especially at this time of the year. First, it is the prerogative of the president, currently Sergio Mattarella, to call an election,” said a note released on Friday by the Economist Intelligence Unit.