Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
ROME

Grillo loyalists demonstrate before House

English
© ANSA

Rome, June 18 - Dozens of demonstrators loyal to
Beppe Grillo, the founder and leader of the troubled 5-Star
Movement (M5S), staged a protest outside the Italian Lower House
Tuesday amid a widening rift over a Senator who may be kicked
out of the anti-establishment party.
"Beppe is the megaphone, we're the voice of the movement,"
read a banner.
Several M5S MPs also took part in the demonstration.
It was launched in response to growing criticism by
so-called "dissidents" in the group, the most vocal of whom has
been Senator Adele Gambaro.
Last week she called Grillo "a problem for the movement"
after the party's flop at local elections across the country,
when the center-left Democratic Party (PD) swept all provincial
capitals up for grabs, including Rome.
Pundits cited the M5S's unwavering refusal to compromise
with the PD since February's inconclusive general elections as a
sign of M5S disaffection and low voter turnout at the last vote.
Late Monday 5-Star MPs voted in favor of kicking Gambaro
out of the party, but opted to give the rank and file the final
word in an online poll.
The affair is viewed as a defining moment in the movement
founded online in 2009 by the Grillo, a comedian known for
irreverent rabble-rousing.
While a majority of M5S MPs present, 79, voted to oust
Gambaro, a significant minority of 42 voted against it, with
nine abstaining.
Those "dissidents" are believed to be on the verge of
defecting to the PD, which was forced to ally with the
center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of three-time premier
Silvio Berlusconi in April in order to break a two-month
parliamentary gridlock and give the country a government.

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