Italy opens political talks on forming new government

Italian President Sergio Mattarella is opening formal consultations to see if any party or coalition can muster support to form a government after the country's inconclusive March 4 elections.

Consultations open Wednesday with the parliament speakers followed by parties with the least political weight, continuing Thursday with those winning the most votes.

The populist 5-Star Movement was the single party with the highest number of votes, while the center-right coalition led by the anti-migrant League would control the most parliamentary seats. Neither force can govern alone.

5-Star leader Luigi di Maio says he is open to a government with either the League or the Democratic Party, which suffered its worst electoral loss ever. But he ruled out governing with former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, citing his tax-fraud conviction.