Italy ready for tough leader as country votes in snap elections

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party holds a giant Italian national flag during a political rally on February 24, 2018 in Milan, Italy.

Emanuele Cremaschi | beautiful pictures

Italians head to the polls on Sunday in a nationwide vote that could return the country’s first female prime minister and the first far-right-led government since the end of World War Two. end.

Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party was founded in 2012, but has its roots in Italy’s 20th-century neo-fascist movement, which emerged after the death of fascist leader Benito Mussolini in in 1945.

After winning 4% of the vote in the 2018 election, it used its position in opposition to the springboard to become mainstream. Italy’s Brotherhood Party is expected to win the largest share of votes for a single party on Sunday. Polls before the power outage on September 9 showed it received nearly 25% of the vote, well ahead of its closest right-wing ally, Lega.

Forming an alliance with Lega, under Matteo Salvini, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and a smaller coalition partner, Noi Moderati, it seems likely that the right-wing coalition will gain power in Rome. Italy’s complicated head-to-head system rewards coalitions and the centre-left Democrats have not been able to build a large enough coalition despite a 21% vote share as a single party .

Polls open at 7 a.m. local time and close at 11 p.m. A poll is due because the ballot ends, but early predictions may not until Monday morning. Reaching political consensus and consolidating any subsequent coalition could take weeks, and a new government could only come to power in October.

The incumbent Mario Draghi, a much-loved technocrat who was forced out due to political infighting in July, has agreed to stay as caretaker. Sunday snap elections come six months before they are due.

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Brothers of Italy spoke to sections of the public concerned about immigration (Italy is the destination of many migrant boats crossing the Mediterranean), the country’s relationship with the EU and the economy.

In policy terms, the Brothers of Italy are often described as “neo-fascist” or “post-fascist”, whose policies echo the nationalist, nationalist, and anti-immigrant views of the time. Italy’s fascist period. For his part, however, Meloni claimed to have eliminated the party of fascists, saying in the summer that Italy’s right wing had “given fascism to history for decades now.”

However, its policies are socially conservative to say the least, with the party opposing same-sex marriage and promoting traditional “family values”, with Meloni saying in 2019 that her mission is to protect “God, homeland and family.”

A volunteer prepares pink ballots at a polling station in Rome’

Andreas Solaro | Afp | beautiful pictures

When it comes to Europe, Fratelli d’Italia has reversed its opposition to Euro, but advocates EU reforms to make the EU less bureaucratic and less influential in domestic policy. On the economic level, it delayed the center-right coalition’s view that the next government should cut sales taxes on certain goods to ease the cost of living crisis, and said Italy should renegotiate its Covid-19 recovery fund with the EU.

Fratelli d’Italia has been pro-NATO and pro-Ukrainian and has supported sanctions against Russia, unlike Lega who has always been conflicted about those measures. Meloni has been described by some as a political chameleon, with analysts noting changes in her political views over time.

'We must cooperate with Europe and the European community,' Italian lawmaker

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