Following a call made by Italian President, Sergio Materalla, for a "netural government" to lead the country until the end of the year after two months of deadlocked political negotiations, Italy's two largest political parties, populist and anti-establishment parties League (Lega), and the Five Star Movement (M5S), have been granted more time to come to an agreement to form a joint government.
The League later announced that it would hold an informal referendum for its members to approve a coalition agreement, on May 19-20. Key points of the deal would include scrapping an unpopular pension reform, tougher rules on immigration, tax cuts, and renegotiation of EU treaties, the League said in a statement. The M5S has already said it would put any accord to an online vote for its own members.
If the deal between M5S and the League fails, President Mattarella could try to put together a government of technocrats with a limited mandate, to prepare for early elections in the spring of 2019. Failing that, his last option would be to call elections in the autumn of this year.
News article - New York Times
News article - Repubblica (in Italian)