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Italy’s local elections marked by low turnout amid growing anti-govt. sentiment

Max Civili

Press TV, Rome

Local elections have been held in about 1,000 municipalities across Italy, marked by low turnout in most places amid growing disaffection with government policies. 

On Sunday, some 9 million Italians were called to elect mayors and councilors in 971 towns and cities, in a vote in which the strength of mainstream political parties has been put to test before national elections next year.

Elections were held in big cities such as Genoa, Verona, and Palermo and in hundreds of provincial capitals.

The turnout was lower than 50% in most municipalities as disaffection with political actors and institutions continues to be on the rise.

On Sunday, Italians were also called to vote on five referenda regarding justice issues.

The referenda failed because they did not achieve the required quorum of 50% of voters. A further sign of voters' disenchantment with the country's politics.

Far-right party Brothers of Italy is likely to win the highest number of votes according to polls.

The Brothers of Italy was the only party that stayed out of Mario Draghi’s government. Nevertheless, the ideological distance between its leader Giorgia Meloni and Prime Minister Draghi is narrow.

Meloni, a staunch NATO advocate, is supportive of Italy sending arms to Ukraine and of increased spending on defense.

Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, opinion polls have steadily shown over half of the Italians oppose the sending of weapons to Ukraine and want the government to work on a peace proposal. Their calls have, so far, gone utterly unheard.

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