Two days after the collapse of the Italian populist government, the leader of the center-left Democratic Party (PD) told the president that he would try to reach an agreement with one of the populist parties, the Five Star Movement.
Nicola Zingareti said Italy needed a "turning point government" but made a number of requests.
President Sergio Matarella is seeking a government deal in the coming days. Otherwise, Italy faces new elections.
Five Stars set its own 1
After meeting with the president, leader Luigi Di Mayo said he was ready to negotiate a "solid majority" in parliament but did not mention the center
He warned of a recurrence of the crisis in Italy in 2011, which led to the adoption of power by a technocrat and then went on to announce a list of priorities.
Mr Matarella had to address the public at 20:00 (18:00 GMT).
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned dramatically in parliament on Tuesday after one of the two populist leaders in the Matteo Salvini coalition pulled the plug on the government and asked for a no-confidence vote.
Mr Salvini, whose right, nationalist league leads to opinion polls, seeks new elections 14 Months After He Became Coalition with Five Sta.
Will Center Left Turn Back to Power?
The center-left DP leader was among the first party leaders to visit the president Thursday morning. His potential Five Star coalition partner met with Mr Matarella late in the afternoon.
- The Prime Minister of Italy has brutally attacked Salvini and refuses
The two parties, which have never before seen eye-to-eye, have already had exploratory talks in which both have expressed initial interest in the deal.
Mr Zingaretti created several conditions for a meeting of the Five Star, including loyal membership in the European Union, giving a central role to Parliament and changing Mr Salvini's anti-immigration policies.
"We have expressed our readiness the president to check the formation of a different majority, "he said, stressing that he wanted a government that would end the policies and policies of the previous coalition.
The PD wants a new prime minister to replace Mr Conte, who currently
also met with Mr Salvini, as well as the leaders of the center-right Forza Italia party and the far-right brothers of Italy.
Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi warned that without a center-right majority in the next government, there would have to be new elections. Mr Salvini said he would be ready for another five-star alliance, though he preferred elections.
What did populists say?
Speaking to his meeting with President Matarella, Mr. Di Mayo stated that he wanted to set up a coalition deal but was not specific to a potential partner.
"We will not allow the ship to sink and let the Italians pay for it," he said.
The main priority for Five Star is to reduce the number of parliamentarians in the upper and lower chambers from 950 to 605. Mr. Di Mayo also called for a "green new deal" involving a shift to renewable energy, as well as reforms in the judiciary, banking system and public operator Paradise
What are the end points?
One of the potential obstacles for a coalition would then be who will become prime minister. Neither Mr Zingaretti nor the Five Star Leader has expressed any interest in the job and has focused on a possible outside candidate.
More significant differences may arise with regard to policies:
- Five Star's main demand for the sacking of 345 MPs can only agree to this in relation to broader constitutional reform
- Both parties are also expected have differences in Italy's budget for 2020, which will have to comply with EU deficit rules. Italy is the third largest economy in the euro area, but with 132% it has the second largest debt in proportion to its output.
- The center left will seek the restoration of many of the League-sponsored immigration measures that have led to the closure of migrant ports. Although pushed by Mateo Salvini, Five Stars eventually agreed.
If the two parties fail to reach an agreement, the autumn elections seem likely, Mr Salvin's nationalists will strive for victory.