Italy's Five Star Movement (M5S) and Lega party have proposed a professor called Giuseppe Conte as the country's next prime minister — but hardly anyone has heard of him.
M5S and Lega's leaders, Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini, agreed to nominate private law professor Giuseppe Conte and he'll also be the leader of a coalition government made up of the two parties.
The two politicians presented their choice to Italian President Sergio Mattarella Monday but the head of state is not obliged to accept the nomination and the search for a leader could continue. For now, Mattarella has summoned the speakers of Italy's bicameral parliament for further talks.
Relatively unknown in political and public life, even Italian newspapers are publishing profiles and biographies on the professor to give the country's voters the lowdown — many of whom are asking, "Who is Giuseppe Conte?"
"Who's ever heard of him?," Carlo Arrighi, an ice-cream maker in central Rome, said, according to a Reuters report, echoing other sentiments on social media. "It would have been better if they had chosen someone who was elected."
The 54-year-old comes from the region of Puglia in southeast Italy and graduated from La Sapienza University in Rome after studying law, before "perfecting" his studies at places like Yale, Duquesne, the International Kultur Institut in Vienna, La Sorbonne in France, Cambridge and New York University, according to a profile page.
But the Corriere della Sera newspaper stated that while Conte has "a very long curriculum (vitae)" he doesn't "have a clue about politics." The newspaper did concede that Conte "is certainly a technician" and has experience in business and administrative, financial and civil law. La Stampa newspaper added that he has been the director of "numerous legal journals."