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The Social Democrats invade the Italian capital, Rome

The Social Democrats invade the Italian capital, Rome

Former Economy Minister Gualtieri opposes
The center-right candidate Mitchiti becomes the new mayor.

The Italian Social Democrats continued their triumphant run in the local elections in the mayoral run-off. In the capital, Rome, Social Democratic candidate and former Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri victoriously defeated his centre-right opponent, Enrico Michetti. According to forecasts published after the election on Monday, Gualtieri received 59 percent of the vote. Turin will also have a red mayor in the future.

Michetti, a leading politician in the right-wing opposition party Fratelli d’Italia, had to settle for 37 percent in the run-off. In the first ballot two weeks ago, the center-right politician was still ahead by 30 to 27 percent. Incumbent Mayor Virginia Raggi of the populist Five Star Movement did not enter the runoff.

Gualtieri, who elected a new mayor of Rome, thanked the Romans for their trust. Roberto Gualtieri said at a press conference at his Electoral Commission headquarters.

The 55-year-old historian was Minister of Economic Affairs in the second government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte from September 2019 to February 2021. From 2009 to 2019 he was a member of the European Parliament, where he has chaired the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs since 2014. Since 2016, He was one of the European Parliament’s three chief negotiators for the Brexit negotiations. After being elected mayor, Gualtieri has to give up his seat in the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

Turin also became a social democracy

In Turin, the Democratic Party celebrated the victory of its candidate Stefano Lo Russo in the elections, which according to expectations reached 53 percent. He asserted himself against centre-right candidate Paolo D’Amilano. In Trieste, where there was a large demonstration against the third generation commitment of all workers in Italy on Monday, it remains unclear who won the race. Center-left politician Francesco Rosso has challenged right-wing mayor Roberto Dipiazza in the border town. A total of 65 municipalities held run-off elections for mayor.

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In the financial capital Milan, as well as in Bologna and Naples, the Social Democrats passed their candidates by an absolute majority in the first ballot two weeks ago. The elections have no direct impact on the national unity government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi. It is the first election since Draghi was sworn in in February. Observers also see the social democratic successes as support for the non-partisan prime minister, who has the strongest political support in the PD.

Party leader Enrico Letta spoke of a “landslide victory” for the center-left. The Democratic Party’s victory had a positive effect on the government coalition backed by Prime Minister Mario Draghi. According to Letta, there should be no snap elections and Draghi must continue to lead the government until the end of the legislature in 2023. From January, the PD will work to achieve a large majority to succeed President Sergio Mattarella, whose seven-year term expires in February.

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