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Italy on course for another unelected government

Cottarelli speaks after meeting with Mattarella. Photo: Michele Spatari/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A whiplash-inducing turn of events has seen Italy's president (who is not popularly elected) veto a government proposed by the populist Five Star and League parties and ask an ex-IMF economist to form a government.

Why it matters: Italy has now had a series of prime ministers take office without winning a popular mandate at the ballot box, dating back to Silvio Berlusconi's ouster in 2011. Current president Sergio Mattarella's drastic steps have sparked a debate over whether he is overruling the will of the people, or acting within constitutional bounds.