Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

5-Star Movement tries to move on after painful ejection

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Rome, January 20 - The 5-Star Movement (M5S) began
to regroup Thursday after voting to expel a Senator for
criticizing the anti-establishment bloc's leader and founder,
Beppe Grillo.
Kicking out Adele Gambaro, elected to the Senate in
February, "was not a victory" but a necessity, the M5S's Senate
whip said.
"It was simply the recognition of a necessity to correct an
error," Nicola Morra told Italian Radio Radicale.
In an online poll Wednesday of the party's 48,292 rank and
file, 65.8% voted in favor of expelling Gambaro, who blamed
Grillo for the party's poor showing at recent local elections
across the country.
Grillo had first asked her to step down, but she refused
with the support of a several MPs from her party.
Roberto Fico, a high-ranking 5-Star MP, said he did not
foresee any more expulsions.
"I don't see any kind of problems on the horizon," he told
Italian Radio 24 when asked about other expulsions.
On Tuesday another M5S lawmaker, MP Paola Pinna, risked
being ejected after party colleagues denounced her for alleging
there was a "climate of thought-crime policing" in the
Internet-based movement.
The case of Gambaro and other so-called dissidents have
marked a defining moment in the movement, which has prided
itself on the near monolithic unity that helped launch it to a
stunning success in February general elections when it won
roughly 25% of the popular vote.
Since then, however, the party flopped at recent local
elections in which the center left swept all provincial capitals
up for grabs, including Rome, prompting Gambaro's fateful
remarks about her party's leader.
Gambaro said Grillo, whose opposition to compromise with
other parties helped prolong a two-month stalemate in parliament
earlier this year, had become "a problem for the movement".
The affair exposed a number of internal rifts in the party,
and some suspect a formal schism is imminent.
In the meantime Gambaro is considering joining the
so-called "Mixed Group" of independents and tiny parties in
parliament.
"I think so. I haven't thought about it yet," the Senator
told Italian Radio Radicale.
"After the expulsion, I think so, after seeing what
happened to Senator Marino Mastrangeli, who went to the Mixed
Group".
Mastrangeli was voted out of the party in April for
breaking a ban on appearing on television chat shows.
Despite her expulsion, Gambaro said relations were still
good with "the majority of my colleagues, with almost everyone".
"There weren't any personal problems," she added.

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