Italians vote in elections, far right could come to power

Associated Press

Sunday, September 25, 2022 07:13
Last updated: about 18 hours ago

Italians will vote in elections on Sunday, potentially driving the country’s politics sharply to the right at a crucial time for Europe.

Voting started at 7am (0500GMT). Tallying of paper ballots was scheduled to begin shortly after the 11:00 PM (2100 GMT) deadline, and predictions based on partial results were scheduled to be made early Monday morning.

Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni and her Italian brothers with neo-fascist roots led the party in popularity before the publication of polls was banned 15 days ago, and Italians have since suggesting that they are ready to vote for the first far-right government. Second World War. Close behind were former Prime Minister Enrico Letta and his centre-left Democrats.

Meloni is part of a right-wing coalition between Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-immigrant alliance, and Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister three times leading the Forza Italia party he created 30 years ago. Italy’s complex electoral law rewards campaign coalitions, leaving the Democrats at a disadvantage because they have failed to secure similarly broad alliances with left-wing populists and centrists.

If Meloni becomes prime minister, she will become Italy’s first female prime minister. But it could take weeks to form a viable ruling coalition.

About 51 million Italians were eligible to vote.

But pollsters predicted turnout could be even lower than the record low of 73% in the last general election in 2018. They say that despite Europe’s many crises, many voters feel alienated from politics. That’s because Italy has had three coalition governments since the last election. — each headed by someone not running for public office.

After Mario Draghi’s pandemic unity government collapsed in late July, elections had been called six months early. Italian President Sergio Mattarella says there is no alternative and he will let voters elect a new parliament.

Polls show former European Central Bank President Draghi is very popular. But his three populist parties in the coalition boycotted a confidence vote related to the energy bailout. Their leaders Salvini, Berlusconi, and Five Star Movement leader Giuseppe Conte are former prime ministers, whose party will be the largest in the upcoming parliament, and while Meloni’s popularity is growing, their Popularity has declined.

Meloni has refused to join Draghi’s unity government or Conte’s two coalitions, which ruled after the 2018 vote, leaving his Italian brothers in the opposition.

She further distanced herself from Salvini and Berlusconi and remained adamant in her support for Ukraine, including sending weapons so that Kyiv could defend itself against Russia. Her nationalist party defends sovereignty. Italians vote in elections, far right could come to power

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