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Formigoni 'shocked' by Northern League's support withdrawal

Governor gives 24-hour ultimatum to 'rebellious' party

15 October, 10:41
Formigoni 'shocked' by Northern League's support withdrawal (ANSA) - Milan, October 15 - Lombardy Governor Roberto Formigoni said in an interview published Monday by the Corriere della Sera daily paper that he was "shocked" by the Northern League's apparent withdrawal of support for him, saying that it showed the party's "rebellious and unreliable nature".

Formigoni of the scandal-hit People of Freedom (PdL) party delivered an ultimatum to the Northern League saying that they must clarify "where they stand" and who they will stand with for proposed primaries within 24 hours.

Last Thursday, Formigoni met with Maroni and the local branch of populist Northern League, who are allied with the PdL in Lombardy and PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano to discuss their regional alliance. "We agreed on a strategy, we went before the cameras, we shook hands and then what? I am stunned and bewildered," Formigoni told Corriere dell Sera.

Last Thursday Formigoni bowed to pressure over an ongoing corruption scandal and dissolved the regional executive government, saying that he would appoint a new, slimlined version over the next few days.

The Northern League is itself still trying to recover from a party funding scandal earlier this year that forced the resignation of its leader and founder, Umberto Bossi.

Northern League secretary Roberto Maroni appealed on Facebook over the weekend for party primaries to be held and for "all Northern League supporters to rally and sign the proposal for new laws and primaries to choose candidates for the governor of Lombardy". "The North comes first. The League comes first," Maroni wrote.

Formigoni said he would begin procedures for an early election immediately if the Northern League confirmed its withdrawal of support.