Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni claimed victory in Italy’s election on Sunday and is on course to become the country’s first female prime minister.
Meloni’s right-wing alliance, which also includes Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right Forza Italia, now seems to have control of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Italian broadcaster Rai gave the rightwing coalition 41 percent to 45 percent against 25.5 percent to 29.5 percent for the leftwing bloc. The populist Five Star Movement was at 13.5 percent to 17.5 percent.
History is written! Despite Ursula von der Leyen's unworthy and dirty threats, Italians vote en masse for the far right. Giorgia Meloni first female premier in the history of Italy. pic.twitter.com/azjKug2xVm
— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) September 25, 2022
Meloni said Italian voters had given a clear mandate to the right to form the next government and called for unity to help confront the country’s many problems.
Meloni: A night of pride for Brothers of Italy
“This is a night of pride for Brothers of Italy, but it is a starting point, not a finish line,” she said to a crowd of supporters.
“If we are called upon to govern this nation, we will do so for all Italians, with the aim of uniting the people, of exalting what unites them rather than what divides them,” Meloni told reporters. “We will not betray your trust.”
“This is the time for being responsible,” she said, appearing live on television and describing the situation for Italy and the European Union as “particularly complex.”
Italy’s main center-left group, the Democratic party (PD), conceded defeat.
“This is a sad evening for the country,” Debora Serracchiani, a senior PD lawmaker, told reporters in the party’s first official comment on the result. “[The right] has the majority in parliament, but not in the country.”
Although Meloni has worked hard to soften her image, emphasizing her support for Ukraine and diluting anti-EU rhetoric, she leads a party rooted in a post-war movement that rose out of dictator Benito Mussolini’s fascists.
Earlier this year, Meloni outlined her priorities in a raucous speech to Spain’s far-right 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!
But the decision on who becomes Italy’s next leader is up to the President rather than Giorgia Meloni, and that will take time.