Italy edges towards its first populist government as the eurosceptic Five Star Movement and the right-wing League indicates a law professor with no political experience was their pick to become the country's next premier.
The leader of Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement on Monday proposed little-known lawyer Giuseppe Conte as prime minister of a coalition government with the far-right.
"We have indicated the name of Giuseppe Conte to the President of the Republic," Luigi Di Maio wrote on the official blog of Five Star (M5S).
"I'm very proud of this name because he is the Five Star Movement in a nutshell – he won't burden the Italian public."
Conte, 54, is a specialist in administrative law and had been presented by Di Maio before March's inconclusive general election as his ministerial pick to streamline Italy's notorious bureaucracy.
Di Maio announced online Conte's nomination as premier by both Five Star and the far-right League Party, after he met President Sergio Mattarella at his offices in Rome on Monday evening.
League leader Matteo Salvini is yet to confirm that Conte is also the League's prime ministerial choice.
Mattarella is not expected to reveal on Monday whether he agrees with the two parties' pick. His endorsement is crucial if they are to seek approval for the new government in parliament.
Should Conte receive benediction from Mattarella, Salvini and Di Maio will then have to present the president with their team of ministers.
"We have clear ideas on the ministers," Salvini said to news agency AGI after leaving the presidential Quirinal palace.