Rome: 37 year old Virginia Raggi has been elected as the first female Mayor of Rome. She won with 67 percent of the votes cast on Sunday by defeating Roberto Giachetti. Raggi is the candidate of Italy’s anti establishment Five Star Movement.
The party has so far controlled just a handful of medium-sized towns. Success in Rome and Turin could prove a springboard to victory in national elections due in 2018.
“A new era is beginning with us,” said Raggi. “We’ll work to bring back legality and transparency to the city’s institutions.” Criticising the Italian government, Raggi said she wants to make Rome liveable for Romans by making it free from corruption.
As a consolation for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, his centre-left Democratic Party (PD) held on to power in Italy’s financial capital, Milan, and in the northern city of Bologna, beating more traditional, centre-right candidates in both places.
Renzi has said he would not step down whatever the results on Sunday. Instead, he has pinned his political future on an October referendum that, he says, will bring stability to Italy and end its tradition of revolving-door governments.
But the losses in Rome and Turin suggest he might struggle to rally the nation behind him, with opposition parties lined up to reject his reform and even his own PD divided over the issue.