Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday officially resigned, remitting his mandate to the hands of the president, and putting an end to his national unity government after 17 months in office.

“President Sergio Mattarella has received Mario Draghi, who … has reiterated the resignation of the government he leads,” a statement from Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic Ugo Zampetti read.

“The President has taken note (of the resignation). The current government remains in office to take care of current affairs,” it added.

Draghi announced his intention to meet Mattarella in the early morning while addressing the lower house ahead of a scheduled confidence vote.

As he shortly explained to the lower house, his decision to step down came after a confidence vote held in the Senate on Wednesday, which the government survived with a thin majority.

“In view of what has happened yesterday in the upper house, I ask to suspend the session because I am about to go to the President of the Republic in order to communicate my decisions,” Draghi told deputies before meeting the president.

Having formally accepted Draghi’s resignation, Mattarella could now either launch a round of consultations among parties in parliament, to see whether another majority could be formed, or call for snap elections directly.

Draghi’s cabinet has been in charge since February 2021. The 74-year-old former president of the European Central Bank already made an offer to resign last week, when the populist Five Star Movement — a major ally in the national unity coalition — boycotted a confidence vote on a key relief bill, thus denying its support to the cabinet.

Mattarella rejected Draghi’s resignation last week, asking him to assess the situation in parliament.

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