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Meloni survives test in Italy regional vote

Meloni survives test in Italy regional vote
Source: Video Screenshot

Italy’s far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni won a regional election in Abruzzo, results showed Monday, in a setback for the leftist opposition ahead of June’s European elections.

The polls were seen as a test for Meloni after her defeat two weeks ago in Sardinia — her first loss since taking office in October 2022.

The outgoing president of Abruzzo, Marco Marsilio, won 53.5 percent of the vote, against 46.5 percent for his opponent Luciano D’Amico, according to results published by the interior ministry.

Marsilio in 2019 became the first regional president from Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party.

His win followed fierce campaigning by Meloni and members of her hard-right coalition government to shore up the vote in the central Italian region.

They sent key ministers to Abruzzo over the past two weeks and announced major investments there.

“Marco Marsilio is the first president in the history of Abruzzo to be re-elected by the voters. We are very proud,” Meloni said Monday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

University rector D’Amico was backed by the main opposition Democratic Party (PD) and the Five Star Movement (M5S), as well as two small centrist parties.

Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, which was one of Marsilio’s backers, won 24 percent of the votes.

It was followed by the PD with 20 percent — twice as much as in 2019 — and the right-wing Forza Italia (FI) with 13 percent.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigrant League party, a member of the coalition government, took just seven percent of the vote, compared to 27 percent last time.

Deeply divided, Italy’s opposition parties have struggled to make headway against Meloni since she took office, with nationwide opinion polls giving Brothers of Italy a consistent seven- or eight-point lead.

But the Sardinia election on February 25 gave them hope, even if on that occasion the joint Democratic Party-Five Star candidate only won by less than 2,000 votes.

The next regional elections, in Basilicata, southern Italy in April, promise to be challenging: the opposition still does not have a single candidate facing the right-wing coalition, which is backing the region’s outgoing president.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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