Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has resigned on Tuesday to President Sergio Mattarella, in a bid to form a new, stronger government.
The president accepted the resignation and "reserves the right to decide (what to do next) and invited the government to stay in office in a caretaker capacity", Mattarella's office said.
Mattarella, the ultimate arbiter of Italian political crises, said he would start a round of discussions with party leaders on the way forward on Wednesday afternoon. Talks are expected to last until Thursday.
Giuseppe Conte is expected to seek a new mandate for what would be his third consecutive government in three years, but this depends on his ability to expand his parliamentary majority.
Ex-premier Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva, which pulled out of the coalition two weeks ago, as well as opposition centrists, are under pressure to switch sides and support a new government but not necessarily with Conte at the helm.