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Italy preparing for snap general election

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

Italy is bracing itself for fresh elections on September 25 after the government of national unity led by Mario Draghi collapsed at the end of July. The former President of the European Central Bank and Goldman Sachs managing director Draghi had lost support of the once-anti-establishment Five Star Movement, the League and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia. These three parties failed to back him in a confidence vote on his leadership triggering a government crisis that ended with President Sergio Mattarella calling for snap elections.

This will be the first time the Italians go to the polls in September in the country's republican history. According to final polls a right-wing coalition is on course to win a comfortable majority of seats in both houses of the parliament with the far-right Brothers of Italy party likely to win about 25% of the vote.

Its leader, 45-year-old Giorgia Meloni, could be Italy's next prime minister, the Italian media have reported. Her party took around 4% of votes in the last election, in 2018.

A few days ago the US government warned that Russian cash had been funnelled to Italian parties sympathetic to the Kremlin without specifying which groups had been the recipients of the funds.

Some analysts have seen the US move as a warning to those parties which had expressed sympathy for Russian president Vladimir Putin over the past years.

Sunday's elections will be held amid general disaffection and political discredit. Recent surveys have showed that some 35% of Italians will not show up at the polls, a trend that if confirmed, could put turnout at a record low.

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