Italy Shifts Far-Right, Elects First Female Prime Minister

With around three-quarters of the votes being counted, Giorgia Miloni of the ultraconservative Brothers of Italy party is set to be the next Italian prime minister–the country’s first female head of government. But she is also set to take another a record: what media pundits call the “most far-right prime minister since fascist Benito Mussolini.”

Miloni’s party leads a right-wing coalition with the League, led by Matteo Salvini, and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia–tracking to garner at least 44% of the vote.

Miloni already claimed victory, saying in a social media post that “we will not betray your trust. We are #pronti to revive Italy.” Her election shifts the country back to the right side of the political spectrum after six prime ministers–in just eleven years–of independent and left-wing leaders.

“It’s a victory I want to dedicate to everyone who is no longer with us and wanted this night,” she added. “Starting tomorrow we have to show our value… Italians chose us, and we will not betray it, as we never have.”

The left-wing coalition–composed of the Democratic Party and centrist party +Europe–is tracking to win around 22% of the votes. The contender Debora Serracchiani conceded defeat following the huge margin shown at the exit polls.

“Undoubtedly we cannot, in light of the data seen so far, not attribute the victory to the right dragged by Giorgia Meloni. It is a sad evening for the country,” Serracchiani told reporters.

Another contender, former prime minister Giuseppe Conte of the right-wing Five Star Movement, tracks third in the polls but the party surprisingly garnered a swelling 15% of the votes compared to its last elections.

The contest for the prime minister’s seat resulted from a call for a snap elections triggered by party infighting that saw the collapse of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government in July.

Female Mussolini?

Media pundits have been comparing Meloni to former dictator Mussolini in terms of her right-wing agenda. She has denied being a fascist–ideology started by the strongman–“but identifies with Mussolini’s heirs.”

While she may be the country’s first female prime minister, she has previously stated her stances on a number of women’s issues, including calling abortion a “tragedy.” She is also notably anti-immigration and anti-LGBT rights, threatening to place the same-sex union–legalized in 2016–under review.

Meloni has maintained that she supports defending Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, a deviation from her party’s co-coalitionists who want to put the sanctions on Moscow under review.

But the cornerstone of Meloni’s party is Euroskepticism, which leads to challenges to European Union’s cohesion upon her election. The Italian elections got more controversial when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen weighed in during the lead up to the voting day, saying “if things go in a difficult direction…we have tools,” citing the similar situations meted for Hungary and Poland.

Meloni’s government is facing a tall order of righting the country’s direction amid a 150% debt-to-GDP ratio and a cost-of-living crisis in Italy.

Information for this briefing was found via CNN, Zero Hedge, and other sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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