Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Center left sweeps major cities in mayoral elections


Rome, June 10 - Italian voters elected centre-left
mayors in 11 major cities, including the capital of Rome,
strengthening the Democratic Party (PD) at the national level at
the close of polls on Monday.
Outgoing Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno, a high-ranking member
of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party,
conceded defeat after he was soundly beaten by the PD's Ignazio
A similar story was playing out around the country as 67
municipalities all held electoral run-off votes on Sunday and
The surprising strength of the PD at the municipal level
should give additional strength at the national level to Premier
Enrico Letta and his PD in the fragile alliance it has built
with three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People
of Freedom (PdL) party.
Voter turnout was surprisingly low, possibly reflecting the
population's disillusionment with a long-running and severe
recession and an ugly general election in February that led to
two months of parliamentary gridlock and vicious infighting
before the alliance between the center left and the centre right
was formed.
Nationally, only about 48.5% of eligible voters cast
That's a significant drop from the 59.7% turnout in the
first round, which was already down from similar local elections
in 2008.
Besides PD victories in Rome, the centre-left won in
Brescia, Iglesias, Viterbo, Avellino, Barletta and Lodi
In the northeastern city of Treviso, Giovanni Manildo upset
a 20-year tradition of dominance by Giancarlo Gentilini.
In fact, said Gentilini, the PdL was facing defeat all over
the country.
"We lost everywhere," he said, adding he felt the party did
not give him enough support to win.
"They threw me in the mud of the left".
In Tuscany, Siena's PD Mayor Bruno Valentini was returned
to office with 52.12% of votes; in Imperia, Carlo Capacci of the
PD won with 76.1% and Ancona voters elected the centre left's
Valeria Mancinelli with 62.6% of the vote.
The PD is the biggest group in parliament but it has been
ravaged by internal divisions after former party secretary Pier
Luigi Bersani squandered a big lead in the polls before
February's election by running a colourless campaign.
Berlusconi and the PdL had been emboldened by the PD's
troubles, as well the PdL's rise to first place in opinion
polls, and have made a series of policy demands.

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