The leader of Italy's right-wing Lega (League) party said the center-right coalition, which won the largest share of the vote but not a majority, has the "right and duty" to govern the country.
Lega leader Matteo Salvini, the man of the moment given his party's election gains (mainly in northern Italy, the party's traditional heartland), said Monday that he is willing to talk to all parties but ruled out a broad coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).
"We have a right and duty to govern," he said, according to Reuters. "The center-right coalition has won and can govern."
This center-right alliance got more votes as a group, but M5S emerged as the largest single party in Sunday's parliamentary election. Neither got enough votes to govern alone, however, which will likely lead to a period of political uncertainty in Italy.
The result — a hung parliament — means negotiations will have to begin between the major parties to see if a coalition deal can be reached. M5S has always ruled out doing a deal, although party leader Luigi Di Maio told CNBC in February he was willing to hold talks with other parties.
Like Salvini, the leader of M5S said the movement takes its responsibility seriously and that the party was ready to govern. He too said he was open to talking to other parties and that his party represented the entire nation, "which leads inevitably to government," Di Maio said, Reuters reported.