Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
PALERMO

Centre-right receives drubbing in Sicily's elections

English
© ANSA

Palermo, October 29 - Support for the centre-right
in Sicily collapsed in regional elections on Sunday, while
disgruntled voters largely failed to show at the polling
stations, Monday's poll results showed.
For almost 20 years, Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right
People of Freedom (PdL) party topped the political heap in
Sicily.
In 2008, the PdL received 33.5% of the vote.
But with the party wracked by scandal in Lazio and
Lombardy, and Berlusconi gone from its helm and convicted of tax
fraud Friday, the PdL took just 12% on Sunday, slipping to third
place after comedian Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement (M5S) and
the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).
Centre-left candidate Rosario Crocetta took the most votes
with just 31% - not enough for a ruling majority.
The centre-right's candidate, Nello Musumeci, had received
roughly 23% of the votes counted by Monday evening - a far cry
from 2008, when the centre-right candidate Raffaele Lombardo won
with a landslide 66.6% of the vote.
The elections were called in the region after governor
Raffaele Lombardo quit in July following an indictment for
colluding with the Mafia.
Gianfranco Micciche' of the so-called Grande Sud (Great
South) coalition came next, and Giancarlo Cancelleri, who is
standing for the anti-establishment Five Star movement of
comedian Beppe Grillo, was fourth.
The elections are a big test of Italian public opinion
ahead of general elections next year.
But the real 'winner' of Sunday's vote was said to be the
abstainers.
Over half of Sicily's voters snubbed the elections for a
new regional assembly and governor in what is being interpreted
as a sign of the Italian public's disaffection with its
political class.
Just over 47% of the 2,203,885 eligible voters used the
ballot box, compared to 66.68% in the 2008 elections in the
region.
A series of recent corruption scandals affecting parties on
various parts of the political spectrum has reinforced
skepticism about the world of politics among many Italians.
Monti, who has been at the helm of an unelected government
of non-political technocrats since the financial crisis forced
Berlusconi to resign as premier last year, regularly scores much
higher than the leaders of the main parties in approval polls
even though he has pushed through a series of unpopular
austerity measures.

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