Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

Victory Of The Far Rights: Italy Gets The First Woman Prime Minister

Her party Brothers of Italy shares its roots to Mussolini’s fascist party. This is one of the most rightist parties that has taken over Italy since WWII

From left, The League's Matteo Salvini, Forza Italia's Silvio Berlusconi, and Brothers of Italy's Gi
From left, The League's Matteo Salvini, Forza Italia's Silvio Berlusconi, and Brothers of Italy's Gi AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Italy is all set to have its first woman Prime Minister. Giorgia Meloni who has claimed victory also belongs to the most right-wing party of the country since the World War II.

After her victory, Meloni however promised that her government would work for ‘everyone’. Addressing the media persons in Rome, the first woman PM said, “Italians have sent a clear message in favour of a right-wing government led by Brothers of Italy”.

As per the provisional results, her party alone is projected to win 26% of the votes ahead of her closest competitor Enrico Letta who belongs to the centre-left groups. However along with her alliance partners Matteo Salvini and former PM Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia, she is about to have hold both on the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies with around 44% vote-share.

The rise of the voting percentage of her party Brothers of Italy has shadowed the decline in her alliance partners’ slide in the votes. Salvini’s party while lost 9% vote share in comparison to the last election, Italia lost even more. Meloni’s party though won just over 4% of the cast votes last time, their decision to keep away from the National Unity Government that got collapsed in July gave a shot in her arms.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella will take the final call after the final results are out. It  may take a few weeks before Meloni is called to form the Government.

Meloni emerged as a political leader from the fringes. She became popular during her vibrant movement in 1990s against immigrants and LGBTQ community. Her fierce opposition to European Union has also been well known.

However, in the last few years she has modified her image through extending her support to Ukraine and softening her anti-EU rhetoric. But. for the political analysts her emergence is still a matter of concern as her party came out of the movement that has its root to fascist party of Benito Mussolini.

In an earlier speech addressed to Spain’s far-right Vox part, Meloni said, “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology... no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration... no to big international finance... no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!”

Notably, the voter turnout has this time slipped to record low of 63.9%, around 9% lower than the last election.  

Political observers note that Italy being one of the founders of the EU, and as a member of NATO has several responsibilities. But the attitude of Melony toward these bodies push her closer to Hungarian premiere Viktor Orban.

Interestingly, as she was on her way claim the vistory, one of the very first messages she received was from her Hungarian counterpart. Congratulating her, the director of PM, Balazs Orban noted, “We need more than ever friends who share a common vision and approach to Europe's challenges.”

She will be closely followed for her position regarding Russia-Ukraine war as her close allies Berlusconi thinks that Putin was provoked by Ukraine to engage in the war. On the other, her election partner Salvini questioned West’s sanction on Moscow.

As per the reports of RAI TV, the three parties led by Meloni is projected to have 227-257 seats in the 400 seta Chamber and 111-131 seats in the 200-seat Senate.

Being the third largest Economy of the European Union, Italy has strategic significance in both the political and economic spheres of EU.