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Projection suggests Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party has won most seats in country’s election.
Rome, Italy – The far-right Brothers of Italy party has won the most parliamentary seats in the country’s elections, a projection suggested, paving the way for the party’s leader Giorgia Meloni to become the country’s first female prime minister.
The forecast by SWG on private channel La 7, which came out after voting ended on Sunday, said that Meloni’s party is likely going to win 26 percent of the vote.
Its coalition partners, hardliner Matteo Salvini’s League party and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forward Italy, are expected to win 8.7 percent and 8.2 percent respectively – enough to guarantee a parliamentary majority for the alliance.
The Democratic Party, which failed to form a broad alliance with other left-leaning and centrist parties reducing its chances to govern, is predicted to win 18.3 percent of the vote, pollsters said.
The Five Star Movement, long considered a moribund party, seems to have done better than expected, getting 16.6 percent of the vote.
The centrist Third Pole, composed of Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva and Carlo Calenda’s Azione, was at 7.8 percent.
Giorgia Meloni could become Italy’s first far-right leader since Benito Mussolini in Sunday’s general elections.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) September 24, 2022
If the projection is confirmed, Meloni would be on course to become the country’s first far-right leader since World War II. During her election campaign, she pledged to reduce taxes, impose a naval block to stop “illegal immigration”, and to put Italians’ interest first within the European Union. But she is going to face the task of guiding Italy through a harsh winter at a critical time amid an energy crisis and surging inflation.
While there were few doubts over the far-right leader’s victory, the projections also brought some surprises.
“We see a much stronger Five Star Movement as they have really embraced and supported the ‘citizens income’ [a poverty relief scheme] and branded themselves as a party of welfare’s support and redistribution,” said Andrea Ruggeri, professor of political science and international relations at Oxford University.
Five Star Movement’s leader Giuseppe Conte spent considerable time touring southern provinces, which are home to most of the relief package’s recipients.
The polls’ figure also showed a steep declined for the Democratic Party, and the League which fell below the 10 percent threshold. The two parites “after their relative dramatic electoral results will have to rethink their leaderships and their policies to attract votes,” said Ruggeri.
Despite Meloni’s party huge success, the center-right coalition is not on track to win 70 percent of the seats – which would have allowed it to pass constitutional reforms without holding referendums. The alliance wants to adopt the direct election of the president, who is currently appointed by parliament. Constitutional changes, as well as any centralisation of power, are traditionally considered taboos among left-wing supporters who regard the chart as the byproduct of Italy’s anti-fascist history.
The election results will be confirmed on Monday, but a new government will not be formed before mid-November. The next step is for newly-elected members of parliament to appoint the chambers’ presidents. The two representatives, alongside party leaders, will then start consultations with President Sergio Mattarella.
Taking in consideration the election results and the composition of the new parliament, the head of state will appoint a new prime minister who will propose a list of ministers.
The list will have to be approved by Mattarella and requires a confidence vote from parliament.