Italy’s prime minister, Mario Monti, is preparing to hand in his resignation, according to officials, who have been expecting the PM to resign after his budget is passed by parlaiment.
The budget was passed with a vote of 309 to 55. It is not yet known if Monti’s resignation will lead to him taking part in upcoming elections and there will be no announcement until Sunday when a news conference is held to discuss the resignation and upcoming elections, according to the BBC.
Monti was initially brought in last year to help form a technocratic government. Silvio Berlusconi’s former party, the conservative People of Freedom, withdrew their support for Monti this month, making it unclear who he would receive support from if he does run.
Since Monti took office last year, he has used his non-party team of ministers to implement economic austerity measures. He has argued that a series of spending cuts and tax hikes have helped Italy stave off disaster.
Al Jazeera notes that Italy’s prime minister has seen his popularity take a downward spiral since he came to power. It declined from a peak of 62 percent to 33 percent, where it stands now.
Some political observers believe that Monti will take part in the upcoming campaign as an unofficial leader of a centrist party that has been likened to the former Christian-Democrats party, which dominated Italy’s politics for decades.
Monti’s name cannot actually appear on the ballot, however, because he is a senator for life. Despite this, he can still be appointed to a post in the government, like prime minister or finance minister.