The leader of Italy's largest political party has called for President Sergio Mattarella to face impeachment charges after he refused to accept a controversial choice for economy minister.
Amid a deepening sense of political and constitutional turmoil in the euro zone's third-largest economy, Luigi Di Maio of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) said Sunday that the actions of Italy's president had triggered an "institutional crisis."
Mattarella, who was installed by a previous pro-EU government, refused to accept the nomination of eurosckeptic candidate Paolo Savona for economy minister. The move prompted two of Italy's anti-establishment parties to abandon their plans to try to form a coalition government.
M5S and the right-wing Lega party (League) have been trying to form an administration since elections in early March failed to produce a clear winner.
"We were a few steps away from forming a government, and we were stopped because in our cabinet there was a minister who criticized the EU," Di Maio said in an interview on RAI state television Sunday.
"I want this institutional crisis to be taken to parliament ... and the president tried," he added.