Italy election: Who is Giorgia Meloni, 1st woman on course to become PM?

Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italian far-right party Brothers of Italy, gestures during a campaign rally in Turin. Reuters photo

ROME - Italy is set to have the first ever female Prime Minister in the history of the European nation, who comes from the far-right wing but whose commitment to the course is said to be ambiguous according to her critics across the world.

Ms. Giorgia Meloni who was born in 1977, is set to form the first ever government which is leaning towards the right-wing since the end of World War II. She claimed victory on Monday morning but the official results are yet to be announced.

Just after casting her vote, Meloni, who is set to lead European Union's third-largest economy, said her brothers from the Italy party would "govern for everyone" and would not betray people's trust.

"Italians have sent a clear message in favour of a right-wing government led by Brothers of Italy," she told reporters in Rome, holding up a sign saying "Thank you Italy".

Provisional results indicate that she's set to win by at least 26 percent of the votes cast ahead of Center left's Enrico Letta, who was touted to be the probable winner of the polls. She was vocal during the campaigns on her far-right ideologies.

The right-wing alliance which also involves Matteo Salvini's far-right League and former PM Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia will take control of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, with around 44% of the vote.

Her own party's dramatic success in the vote disguised the fact that her allies performed poorly, with Mr. Salvini's party slipping below 9%, and Forza Italia even lower. Four years ago, the Brothers of Italy won little more than 4% of the vote but this time benefited from staying out of the national unity government that collapsed in July, the BBC reports.

But Meloni is likely to face a few hurdles because her party has roots in dictator Benito Mussolini's fascist movement, even though she has been working hard to clear her image. Throughout the campaigns, she has been supporting Ukraine which is under siege from Russia.

Earlier this year she outlined her priorities in a raucous speech to Spain's far-right Vox party: "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!"

The center-left alliance was a long way behind the right with 26% of the vote and Democratic Party figure Debora Serracchiani said it was a sad evening for Italy. The right "has the majority in parliament, but not in the country", she insisted.


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