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Italy’s 5-Star Pummels Center-Right in Rome Vote

Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement member Giuliana Di Pillo (L) speaks with journalists next to Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi in Ostia, Italy, Nov. 19.Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement member Giuliana Di Pillo (L) speaks with journalists next to Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi in Ostia, Italy, Nov. 19.

Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement pummeled a center-right coalition to govern Ostia, one of Rome’s largest neighborhoods, in a run-off vote that confirms the 5-Star’s strength months away from a national election.

Five-Star’s Giuliana Di Pillo took 60% of the vote, doubling her first-round result, against 40% for the center-right’s Monica Picca in a closely watched contest that comes just months before a national election, Reuters reported.

The result shows the legal troubles that have plagued the administration of Rome’s 5-Star mayor, Virginia Raggi, since her election in June of last year have not dampened the maverick party’s popularity in the capital.

“There is a Raggi effect and it’s positive,” Luigi Di Maio, the 5-Star prime minister candidate, wrote on Twitter. “In Rome we continue to win even against a coalition of five center-right forces.”

The 5-Star is Italy’s most-popular party ahead of a national vote due between March and May, while the ruling Democratic Party (PD) is a distant second, a poll showed last week.

But a center-right alliance joining Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!), the anti-immigration Northern League and the far-right Brothers of Italy would pull in the most votes, though it would fall short of a parliamentary majority.

 

 

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