The center-left candidate, Roberto Gualtieri, won the mayoralty of Roma in the second round of the municipal elections that were held on Sunday and Monday, beating the right-wing candidate accused of anti-Semitism, according to exit polls.
Gualtieri, 55 years old, former Minister of Economy (2019-2021), beat the center-right candidate with 59 to 63% against Enrico Michetti’s 37 to 41%, according to the opinion poll conducted for the public radio and television RAI.
In the first turn Michetti had surpassed Gualtieri by three points (30% -27%).
The Romans went to the polls the day after a massive demonstration in the capital to demand the dissolution of a far-right party, nostalgic for fascism, after violent protests against the health passport the previous week.
Gualtieri won part of the support of the third and fourth place two weeks ago: the independent Carlo Calenda, who announced his vote in favor of Gualtieri, and the outgoing mayor, Virginia Raggi, of the 5 Star Movement (M5E).
The future mayor will have to face the eternal problems of the Italian capital, which suffers from inefficient public transport and disastrous management of garbage collection.
The situation in the capital of 2.8 million inhabitants, one of the largest in Europe, has become so bad that wild boars, attracted by the garbage that is piled up in the middle of the street, circulate freely in some residential areas.
“Rome cannot resign itself to talking only about garbage and holes. Rome is a great European capital “, He launched Gualtieri in its closing electoral act on Friday.
For his part, Michetti’s campaign was derailed after a series of mistakes, as he had to deny his anti-Semitism, declared in an article last year, and his closeness to far-right parties with fascist sympathies.
The result is a setback for the right-wing bloc in Italy, led by Matteo Salvini’s League and the Italian Brothers group led by Giorgia Meloni.
Analysts believe that the outcome of the two rounds of local voting will not affect the balance of the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who has the backing of a national left-right coalition.