Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Inconclusive vote seen in both houses of Italian parliament

Melinda Barton | 06 March, 2018, 20:45

And then, of course, the outgoing ruling party, the center-left Democratic Party, they came away with less than 20 percent, so they took a real beating.

If the League ends up winning more votes than Forz Italia, Salvini is likely to have a stronger claim to lead the next government than whoever former Prime Minister Berlusconi selects.

In Germany, the Social Democratic Party has faced a similar waning of support, and is reluctantly taking on the role of junior coalition partner in Angela Merkel's latest government.

A topless Femen activist has disrupted polling in Italy's national election while ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi was casting his ballot.

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini in Milan on Monday, the day after the vote. In the Netherlands, the Labour Party has been nearly totally wiped out, going from 25% of the vote in 2012 and governing in a coalition, to just 6% in the general election previous year.

In absolute terms, the center-right coalition won the election with 37.5 percent of the vote as opposed to the 31.9 percent taken by the 5-Star Movement, which refused to enter a coalition with other parties. Bannon called a possible post-election deal between the Five Star Movement and the League "the ultimate dream".

Perhaps the most significant force in the new Italian politics was the southern vote, with Di Maio's 5-Star group taking almost 50 percent of the vote in the area comprising Sicily, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, and Calabria.

Berlusconi, a three-time prime minister, has returned to the limelight despite a political career overshadowed by sex scandals and legal woes.

They've capitalized on a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment roiling the country in a campaign marked by neo-fascist rhetoric and racist violence, culminating in a far-right extremist wounding six African men in a shooting spree last month.

An RAI exit poll gave the centre-right coalition of which the League and Forza Italia are part a slight edge over the 5-Star Movement.

As the results came in, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen celebrated, saying Europe was having a bad night.

The surge of populist and eurosceptic movements in the eurozone's third-largest economy will worry Europe, though neither the 5-Stars nor the League are advocating an exit from the European Union.

Some experts say Mattarella will likely pick Gentiloni to lead a coalition government if the winning parties can not form a government among themselves.

"The success of the more rightist movements and parties is the effect of the growing preoccupation of a large section of voters on the excessive wave of immigration ... and on the economic crisis", he said.