Giorgia Meloni, leader of the right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), holds a giant Italian national flag during a political rally on February 24, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
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Italians will vote on Sunday for a nationwide vote that could return the country’s first female prime minister and the far-right’s first government since the end of World War II.
Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party was created in 2012, but has its roots in Italy’s 20th-century neo-fascist movement that emerged after the death of fascist leader Benito Mussolini in 1945.
After winning 4% of the vote in the 2018 election, it has used its position to springboard protests into the mainstream. On Sunday the Brothers of Italy party is expected to garner the largest share of the vote for any single party. Polling ahead of blackout on September 9 showed it was getting about 25% of the vote from its nearest right-wing ally Lega.
Forming an alliance with the Lega under Matteo Salvini, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and a more minor coalition ally, Noi Moderati, it seemed likely that a right-wing coalition would win power in Rome. Italy’s complex first-past-the-post system rewards coalitions and the centre-left Democratic Party has failed to form a large enough coalition despite 21% of the vote as a single party.
Voting began at 7 a.m. local time and will end at 11 p.m. Exit polls are due to close, but initial estimates may not come until Monday morning. It can take weeks to reach political consensus and consolidate any coalition, and a new government could come to power only in October.
Mario Draghi, a much-loved technocrat who was forced out in July by political infighting, agreed to remain as caretaker. The mid-term elections on Sunday come six months in advance.
The Italian brothers have spoken about sections of the public who are concerned about immigration (Italy is the destination for many migrant boats crossing the Mediterranean), the country’s relationship with the European Union and the economy.
In terms of policy, the Brothers of Italy is often described as “neo-fascist” or “post-fascist”, its policies echoing the nationalist, nationalist and anti-immigration stances of Italy’s fascist era. For his part, however, Meloni has claimed to rid the party of fascist elements over the summer, saying that Italy’s right wing had “handed over history to fascism for decades.”
Nevertheless, its policies are socially conservative to say the least, the party opposes same-sex marriage and promotes traditional “family values”, Meloni said in 2019 that its mission Had to protect “God, Motherland and Family”.
A volunteer prepares a pink ballot at a polling station in Rome’
Andreas Solaro | AFP | Getty Images
When it comes to Europe, Fratelli d’Italia has reversed opposition to the euro, but champions reform of the European Union to make it less bureaucratic and less influential on domestic policy. On an economic level, it has touted the centre-right coalition’s position that the next government should cut sales taxes on some items to reduce the cost of living, and has said Italy should fund its Covid-19 recovery funds. should talk again. The European Union.
Fratelli d’Italia has been pro-NATO and pro-Ukraine and supports sanctions against Russia, unlike Lega, which is vague about those measures. Meloni has been described by some as a political chameleon, with analysts noting changes in her political position over time.