Italy’s centre-left Partito Democratico are celebrating this week as they managed to win 16 out of the 16 major mayorships at stake in ballots around the country this weekend, giving a welcome boost to Prime Minister Enrico Letta and strengthening his leadership of the government coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right.
The biggest victory came in the capital Rome where Ignazio Marino took over the post from Gianni Alemanno gaining a massive 63.9% of votes. Further centre-left victories took place in Viterbo, Avellino, Ancona and Imperia, all previously held by the centre-right.
The northen separatist stronghold of Treviso was also toppled by a further centre-left vistory. The Lega Nord had held the mayorship for the past twenty years. Outgoing mayor Gentilini declared it was “the end of an era”. The controversial Movimento 5 Stelle, led by Beppe Grillo, failed to make a major mark as it had done in recent national elections although gained mayorships in Pomezia near Rome and in Assemini, near the Sardinina capital of Cagliari, taking both places from the centre-left.
This year’s elections for local councils and mayors was however marked by a major drop in voters’ turnout, a sign perhaps of Italians’ increasing disillusionment and decreasing faith in the political class, at whatever level.
sindaco (m. sing) – mayor (male or female) / plural: sindaci
elezioni amminstrative (f. pl.) – local council elections
ballottaggio (m. sing.)- ballot
sconfitta (f. sing.) – defeat
daje! – Roman dialect term meaning “come on!“. Ital. equivalent, “dai, forza!“