Members of Italy's 5-Star Movement have voted to back prime minister-designate Mario Draghi, opening the way for the former European Central Bank chief to take office at the head of a broad unity government this week.
In an online ballot, 59.3 per cent of 5-Star supporters heeded a call from party leaders to support the new administration despite the fact it includes some of their arch foes and will be headed by the sort of technocrat they have previously decried.
After coalition infighting brought down the previous government, President Sergio Mattarella called on Draghi, one of the most respected figures in Italy, to form a new cabinet to tackle the coronavirus health crisis and economic meltdown.
He is expected to present his list of ministers to Mattarella on Friday and unveil his policy program next week in parliament, which will then hold confidence votes in both houses before he can formally take office.
Victory is guaranteed but a number of 5-Star MPs have suggested that they may vote "no" or abstain regardless of the online ballot, opening the way for a possible schism.
The 5-Star party was born in 2009 as an anti-system, anti-euro protest party and some of its MPs have threatened to vote against Draghi regardless of the online ballot.