Meloni’s right-wing bloc wins Italian election
The right-wing bloc led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FI) party is heading for victory in the snap parliamentary election, which took place on Sunday.
With most of the ballots counted, early results released by the Interior Ministry on Monday suggested that the coalition will have a solid majority in both houses of the Italian parliament.
Brothers of Italy were in the lead with 26%, the ministry said, after more than 90% of the ballots were counted. Matteo Salvini’s League and former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia – FI’s partners in the bloc – were on 9% and 8%, respectively.
The conservatives’ closest challengers, the center-left Democratic Party of former premier Enrico Letta, has won just over 19% of the vote, according to the early results.
The turnout in the election, which was called after the collapse of Mario Draghi’s coalition government in July, was almost 64%.
Meloni has already celebrated victory, saying in a televised speech that “Italy chose us. We will not betray [the country], as we never have.”
“If we are called to govern this nation, we will do it for everyone, we will do it for all Italians and we will do it with the aim of uniting the people,” the 45-year-old declared.
The situation in Italy and the EU is “particularly complex,” meaning that it’s “time for being responsible,” Meloni said.
The new cabinet will be faced with a series of challenges that its predecessors couldn’t overcome, including soaring energy prices, the conflict in Ukraine, and a renewed slowdown of the Italian economy.
The results of the vote suggest that Italy is going to have its most right-wing government since World War II and Meloni as its first ever female prime minister. It also offers the country a rare opportunity for political stability after years of turbulence and fragile coalitions.
Brothers of Italy, which recently moderated its far-right message, has made remarkable gains in this election after winning just 4% of votes in 2018.
The rise of right-wingers in Italy is apparently causing concern in Brussels, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivering a veiled threat to them ahead of the vote.
“My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together. If things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools,” von der Leyen said, referring to EU funding for Budapest and Warsaw being cut for violating the bloc’s rules.