Italy's local elections test popularity of Berlusconi

14:01, May 17, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Millions of Italians completed voting on Monday in local elections that tested how much fraud and minor sex charges have damaged premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Voting began early Sunday and polls close at 3 p.m. Monday in 1, 177 Italian cities, towns and provinces.

In Milan, the premier's hometown and considered the capital of his People of Freedom (PDL) party, Berlusconi's candidate and incumbent mayor Letizia Moratti was 6-7 points behind the candidate of the largest opposition group Democratic Party (PD), Giuliano Pisapia, an attorney.

Pisapia did not win the 50 percent mark needed to win in the first round, which will force a second-round run-off in two weeks time.

In a recent televised debate, Moratti accused Pisapia of having backed violent demonstrations by leftist protesters in the past, while the PD opponent opposed her building plan, noting Milan already has as many as 80,000 empty apartments and 900,000 square meters of unoccupied office space.

Berlusconi boosted flagging support for Moratti by putting his name on the top of the ticket and stumping on her behalf.

According to Italian ANSA news agency, a PDL loss in Milan would have a big impact on Berlusconi's government dynamics.

"The outcome cannot be questioned, there is a change of trend, in the north too, where the center-right coalition PDL-Northern League is starting to shake," PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani was quoted by ANSA as saying.

Other battleground city Turin remained in opposition hands, as also Bologna, while Naples will go to a second-round run-off. Elections were not held in Rome.

The Sunday-Monday vote by almost a quarter of the Italian population was the first electoral test since Berlusconi was hit by charges of sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of power, and will be the last before general elections scheduled for 2013.

Turnout was a good two-three percentage points down on the last local elections, something which observers saw as indicating that many Italians are fed up with politics in general.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
BRICS Leaders Meeting 2011
 
Japan in aftershocks
 
     
 
 
 
  Weekly review  
 
May 12   No winners in U.S. hi-tech export controls
 
May 12   China should view livelihood issues from strategic perspective
May 11   Syria will not be another Libya
May 06   Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway to launch 10-day trial run
May 14   The week in pictures
May 11   2000-year-old wine unearthed in Henan province
May 11   Scientist: China plans to build lunar research base
May 09   Apple employee, customer reach settlement after Beijing iPad brawl
May 12   Wenchuan Reconstruction: 'Chinese miracle' impresses world
May 12   No winners in U.S. hi-tech export controls
 
     
 
 

(Editor:燕勐)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • 3rd Anniversary Of Wenchuan Earthquake
  • Third China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • WHO opens 64th World Health Assembly in Geneva
  • Gharrafa beat Lekhwiya at Emir Cup
  • Sacred mountain and lake in SW China's Tibet
  • HKCU confers honorary fellowship
  • 7th China Int'l Culture Industry Fair concludes in Shenzhen
  • Gharrafa beat Lekhwiya at Emir Cup
Hot Forum Dicussion