Italian opposition party suffers defeat in local polls

Dhaka,  Wed,  23 August 2017
Published : 13 Jun 2017, 14:06:17
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Italian opposition party suffers defeat in local polls

Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement suffered bruising defeats in municipal elections on Sunday, including setbacks in Palermo, the Sicilian capital, and Genoa, the home city of Beppe Grillo, its founder, according to a global media report Tuesday.

The results are a warning to Five Star as it bids for power in the next general election, suggesting its strong support am¬ong disenchanted Italians may have peaked. An election is due within a year.

Five Star, which has railed against traditional parties, called for a referendum on membership of the euro and questioned Italy’s presence in Nato, is neck and neck in opinion polls with the ruling centre-left Democratic party (PD). But Five Star has struggled to build a firm lead over the PD, led by Matteo Renzi, former prime minister, amid divisions and the difficulties of Virginia Raggi, the Five Star mayor of Rome.

In Genoa, where Mr Grillo still lives, Luca Pirondini, Five Star’s candidate, finished third behind centre-right and centre-left contenders who will contest a run-off on June 25.

In Palermo, where Five Star has made big inroads, its candidate was also set to finish third behind Leoluca Orlando, the centre-left mayor, who was re-elected on the first ballot. Mr Grillo had campaigned in both cities.

- SZ
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