Lunedì, 15 Ottobre 2018
ROME

First results in Sicily show centre left ahead

English
© ANSA

Rome, October 29 - The first results from Sunday's
regional elections in Sicily put the centre left's candidate
ahead followed by the man backed by ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party.
Rosario Crocetta, who is supported by the centre-left
Democratic Party and the centrist UDC, had 31.36% of the votes
after the count was completed in 236 of the 5,307
constituencies.
Nello Musumeci, who represents the PdL and other smaller
centre-right/right-wing parties, had 27.15% of the votes counted
so far.
Gianfranco Micciche' of the so-called Grande Sud (Great
South) coalition had 17% and Giancarlo Cancelleri, who is
standing for the anti-establishment Five Star movement of
comedian Beppe Grillo, was fourth with 15%.
The elections are a big test of Italian public opinion
ahead of general elections next year.
They are seen as especially important for the PdL, which
has been hit by two big scandals in Lazio and Lombardy and is
reportedly in turmoil after Berlusconi at the weekend threatened
to bring down Premier Mario Monti's emergency government.
Berlusconi issued the threat after being convicted of fraud
on Friday but some senior PdL members, including party Secretary
Angelino Alfano, are said to be against trying to cause the
government's demise.
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
Silvio Berlusconi to resign as prime minister 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.
The elections were called in the region after governor
Raffaele Lombardo quit in July following an indictment for
colluding with the Mafia.
The vote count started across Sicily at 8:00 local time.

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