Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni is on course to become Italy’s first woman Prime Minister, exit polls suggest.
An exit ballot on country tv shortly after polls closed on Sunday evening (25 September) recommended that Ms Meloni’s Brothers of Italy alliance with proper-wing events was on track to take as much as 45% of the vote in each chambers of Parliament. Her closest contender, the centre-left alliance of former Democratic Party Premier Enrico Letta, is reportedly garnering as much as 29.5% of the vote. State broadcaster Rai stated the exit ballot had a margin of error of 3.5%.
It could see Ms Meloni, 45, become Italy’s first far-right Prime Minister since the quit of World War Two, despite the fact that she has since stated her Brothers of Italy party could “govern for everyone” and would not betray people’s trust.
Her party could need to form a coalition together along with her main allies, anti-migrant League chief Matteo Salvini and conservative former foremost Silvio Berlusconi to command a strong majority in Parliament.
Who is Giorgia Meloni?
Giorgia Meloni was born in Rome and moved to Garbatella in her teenage years. There, elderly 15, she joined Youth Front, the youth wing of the neo-fascist MSI. She later have become the president of the scholar department of the movement’s successor, National Alliance. In 2008, aged 31, Ms Meloni have become Italy’s youngest ever minister, appointed to the Youth and Sport portfolio by Silvio Berlusconi. After forming her personal party in 2012, she won simply 4% of votes in the last election in 2018. She leads a party rooted in a post-war movement that rose out of dictator Benito Mussolini’s fascists.
Earlier this year she mentioned her priorities in a raucous speech to Spain’s a long way-proper Vox party: “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration… no to big international finance… no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!”
What are her policies?
Ms Meloni has solidly backed the supplying of Ukraine with arms to defend itself against Russia’s invasion. In contrast, right-wing League chief Matteo Salvini, has voiced concern that Western sanctions could end up hurting Italy’s economic interests more than punishing Russia’s. With Italy’s families and agencies suffering with excessive power bills, Ms Meloni has hostile Mr Salvini’s push to swell already-debt-laden Italy by tens of billions of euros for energy relief. Ms Meloni has criticised Europe’s “Brussels bureaucrats” and currently defended Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban after the European Commission encouraged postponing billions of euros in investment to Hungary over issues about democratic backsliding and the possible mismanagement of EU money.
However, after opinion polls in the run-up to the vote indicated she could be headed to victory, Ms Meloni commenced moderating her message of “God, homeland and family” in an apparent attempt to reassure the European Union and other international partners. “This is the time for being responsible,” Ms Meloni stated, appearing live on television and describing the situation for Italy and the European Union as “particularly complex”.
In her campaign, she criticised European Union officers as being overly bureaucratic and vowing to protect Italy’s national interests if they clash with EU policies. Nearly 64% of eligible citizens deserted the ballot, according to the Interior Ministry. That is far lower than the previous record for low turnout, 73% in 2018. Italy has had 3 coalition governments since the last election — every led by a person who had not run for office.
The election on Sunday came six months early after Mr Draghi’s pandemic unity government, which enjoyed wide citizen popularity, collapsed in late July after the parties of Mr Salvini, Mr Berlusconi and Ms Conte withheld support in a confidence vote. Ms Meloni kept her Brothers of Italy party in the opposition, refusing to join Mr Draghi’s unity government or the two previous coalitions led by Mr Conte.