Italy’s centre-left dominates 2nd round of local elections



Italy’s center-left Democratic Party snatched most of the cities up for grabs in a set of local election run-offs, according to results published on Monday, defeating the center-right in key centers and boosting the strength of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The vote held on Sunday was the last electoral test for Italian parties ahead of the much-awaited national elections set for next year, when Italians will decide who will head the new government after Draghi.

The head of the Democratic Party, Enrico Letta, hailed the election result, calling it “extraordinary,” and said it also “strengthens us in view of the future, in building a center-left bloc that will be a winner also on a national level, at next year’s political elections.”

Italian citizens voted across the country in 65 cities, including 13 provincial and regional capitals, even though less than half of the eligible voters cast their ballots in a hot summer weekend.

The Democratic Party’s candidates prevailed in the northern cities of Parma, Alessandria, Monza, as well as the southern city of Catanzaro.

In the traditionally conservative city of Verona – a long-time bastion of the center-right – Rome’s former soccer player Damiano Tommasi, who was backed by the Democratic Party and the 5-Star Movement, won against most predictions, exploiting divisions within the center-right bloc.

The center-right had won 10 of the 26 provincial and regional capitals voting in the first round of the elections on June 12.—AFP

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