Lucky Landono | The Post
The Eurosceptic, anti-establishment Five Star Movement came out as the winner of the latest election in Italy.
But a coalition of the far-right League and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party is projected to win most seats in the lower house of parliament.
League leader Matteo Salvini and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio both had claimed to have the right to govern the country.
Five Star has now announced that it is open for coalition talks with other parties, despite it stated at the beginning of the election that it will seek any coalitions talks with other parties.
League leader Matteo Salvini had also stated that he was willing to open talks with other parties to gain a parliamentary majority.
The League gained more votes in northern Italy, while Five Star dominated the south part of the country.
Latest results showed Five Star garnering 32.5% of the vote, while the League received 17.5% of the vote and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia 14%.
Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party could only secure 18.7% of the vote, giving them a psychological blow in this recent election.
According to the Italian Interior Ministry, voter turnout was estimated around 73% on Monday morning.
The increase of support for populist parties has been compared to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the United States.
The right-wing coalition, which includes the League, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the far-right Brothers of Italy, is projected to get 248-268 seats in parliament, below the 316 needed for a majority.
Meanwhile, Five Star is expected to come as the largest single party in Italy’s lower house, with 215-236 seats.
Beppe Grillo, who denounced cronyism in Italian politics, founded Five Star in 2009, but now it is led by Luigi Di Maio, a 31-year old politician, who has succeeded getting new voters in the poorer regions of southern Italy.
Luigi Di Maio’s campaign was centered around issues such as institutional corruption, economic hardship and illegal immigration.
Italian voters appeared to have left Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party due to dissatisfaction over those issues, and Renzi’s center-left coalition is expected to come third, with an estimated 107-127 seats.
Immigration and the economy have been two of the key issues for voters during the latest election in Italy.
Far-right populist parties also gained much of the vote for Italy’s Senate, the upper house of parliament.
Five Star performed better than expected and is predicted to have the most seats, around 102-122 seats, but will miss out on a majority.
While the right-wing coalition is projected to gain 118-150 seats in the upper house, and the Democratic Party will get 42-54 seats in the Senate.
Five Star and the League have criticized Italy’s relationship with the European Union, although neither has stated its intention to leave the bloc.
A potential alliance between the two would put Brussels in some degree of caution.
More details to follow. Image 1 of Italian election from Market Watch.