Tags: EU | Italy | Politics

Italians Vote in Local Races That Test Renzi's Party

Sunday, 05 June 2016 07:08 AM

MILAN (AP) — An anti-establishment movement is the favorite as voters head to the polls to pick a new mayor in Rome, among a handful of city hall contests in urban centers across Italy Sunday that will test the prime minister's governing Democratic Party.

A broad corruption scandal and deteriorating public services have soured many voters on traditional parties in Rome, driving support to the grassroots, populist 5-Star movement. Local elections will also be held in Milan, Naples and Bologna.

While Prime Minister Matteo Renzi could emerge weaker from the races, which take into account one-quarter of Italy's voting population, analysts say the real barometer will be a referendum on constitutional changes launched by his government and heading to a vote in the fall.

Run-offs are expected June 19 in most contests, unless candidates manage to win more than 50-percent of the vote, which is rare in the first round.

The capital race is the most volatile. A victory for 5-Star candidate Virginia Raggi would mark the biggest administrative victory for the movement founded by comedian-turned-political leader Beppe Grillo. It would also be the first time a woman would run the eternal city.

Rome has been run by a government-appointed commissioner after the last mayor, a political outsider, lost support of the Democratic Party-dominated city council amid controversy over his expenses.

In Milan, the race pits two centrist managers as the front-runners, with the former manager of Expo 2015, Giuseppe Sala, running as the Democratic Party candidate against former city manager Stefano Parisi with broad center-right backing.

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An anti-establishment movement is the favorite as voters head to the polls to pick a new mayor in Rome, among a handful of city hall contests in urban centers across Italy Sunday that will test the prime minister's governing Democratic Party.A broad corruption scandal and...
EU,Italy,Politics
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2016-08-05
Sunday, 05 June 2016 07:08 AM
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