ROME • Italy's President yesterday summoned Mr Giuseppe Conte as he prepared to announce whether he will appoint the little-known lawyer to lead a government formed by far-right and anti-establishment groups.
Italian media said claims that Mr Conte had exaggerated his curriculum vitae had delayed President Sergio Mattarella's decision on whether to approve him as premier.
It was also reported that there were worries over the choice of an anti-euro economy minister by the parties, whose combative stance towards Brussels has caused fears for European financial stability.
The anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the anti-immigrant League nominated Mr Conte, 54, for premier on Monday. But scandal soon struck over doubts about his claims to have studied at certain top world universities.
"Conte betrayed by his CV," ran a headline in left-leaning newspaper La Republicca, and Il Corriere della Sera said "The CV affair is open, Conte is hanging in the balance."
The parties are seeking to form a coalition government in a bid to end two months of political deadlock following March's inconclusive general election.
Mr Mattarella must agree to the parties' candidate and ministers before they can seek approval for the new government in Parliament.
Mr Conte's official CV says he "furthered his juridical studies" at Yale, New York University (NYU), Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, the Sorbonne and Cambridge, but some entries have been queried.
NYU said its records did not "reflect Giuseppe Conte having been at the university as a student or having an appointment as a faculty member". It said he was granted permission to conduct research in the institution's law library between 2008 and 2014.
Cambridge University declined to give details about Mr Conte.
Duquesne University said he attended as part of an affiliation with Villa Nazareth, an exchange programme, and did legal research but "was not enrolled as a student".
Mr Conte has yet to speak out publicly about the affair.