Global News

Breaking news & current latest Canadian news headlines; national weather forecasts & predictions, local news videos, money and financial news; sports stats and scores.

https://globalnews.ca/

Italians vote in election that could bring far-right to power.

Click to play video: 'Central Italy flash floods kill 9, shock residents: “I have never seen anything like this”'

WATCH: Central Italy flash floods kill 9, shock residents: "I have never seen anything like this" – Sep 16, 2022

Italians voted Sunday in an election that could move the country’s politics sharply toward the right during a critical time for Europe, with war in Ukraine fueling skyrocketing energy bills and testing the West’s resolve to stand united against Russian aggression.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0500GMT) and by noon turnout was equal to or slightly less than at the same time during Italy’s last general election in 2018. The counting of paper ballots was expected to begin shortly after they close at 11 p.m. (2100 GMT), with projections based on partial results coming early Monday morning.

Publication of opinion polls is banned in the two weeks leading up to the election, but polls before that showed far-right leader Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party, with its neo-fascist roots, the most popular. That suggested Italians were poised to vote their first far-right government into power since World War II. Close behind was former Premier Enrico Letta and his center-left Democratic Party.

“Today you can help write history,” Meloni tweeted Sunday morning.

Letta, for his part, tweeted a photo of himself at the ballot box. “Have a good vote!” he wrote.

Meloni is part of a right-wing alliance with anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time premier who heads the Forza Italia party he created three decades ago. Italy’s complex electoral law rewards campaign coalitions, meaning the Democrats are disadvantaged since they failed to secure a similarly broad alliance with left-leaning populists and centrists.

If Meloni becomes premier, she will be the first woman in Italy to hold the office. But assembling a viable, ruling coalition could take weeks.

Nearly 51 million Italians were eligible to vote. Pollsters, though, predicted turnout could be even lower than the record-setting low of 73% in the last general election in 2018. They say despite Europe’s many crises, many voters feel alienated from politics, since Italy has had three coalition governments since the last election — each led by someone who hadn’t run for office.

Early voters in Rome expressed concerns about Italian politics as a whole.

“I hope we’ll see honest people, and this is very difficult nowadays,” said Adriana Gherdo, at a polling station in the city.

In Milan, voter Alberto Veltroni said he thought the outcome was still anyone’s guess.

“I expect that these will be difficult elections to read, to understand, with unexpected votes as opposed to the polls ahead of elections,” he said.

The election in the eurozone’s third-largest economy is being closely watched in Europe, given Meloni’s criticism of “Brussels bureaucrats” and her ties to other right-wing leaders — she recently defended Hungary’s Viktor Orban after the European Commission recommended suspending billions of euros in funding to Hungary over concerns about democratic backsliding and the possible mismanagement of EU money.

Elections are being held six months early after Mario Draghi’s pandemic unity government collapsed in late July. Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, saw no alternative but to have voters elect a new Parliament.

Opinion polls found Draghi, a former European Central Bank chief, hugely popular. But the three populist parties in the coalition boycotted a confidence vote tied to an energy relief measure. Their leaders, Salvini, Berlusconi and 5-Star Movement leader Giuseppe Conte, a former premier whose party is the largest in the outgoing Parliament, saw Meloni’s popularity growing while theirs slipped.

READ MORE: OPEC and allies trim oil outputs as recession fears drive down prices

Meloni kept her Brothers of Italy in the opposition, refusing to join Draghi’s unity government or Conte’s two coalitions that governed after the 2018 vote.

She further distanced herself from Salvini and Berlusconi with unflagging support for Ukraine, including sending weapons so Kyiv could defend itself against Russia. Her nationalist party champions sovereignty.

Before Russia’s invasion, Salvini and Berlusconi had gushed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the final days of the election campaign, Salvini criticized Russian atrocities in Ukraine but Berlusconi raised eyebrows by saying Putin merely wanted to put “decent” people in government in Kyiv after pro-Moscow separatists in Donbas complained they were being harmed by Ukraine.

Many factories in Italy face cutbacks — some already have reduced production — and other business might close as they struggle with gas and electricity bills reaching 10 times higher than a year ago. The major candidates, despite their political leanings, agreed on the urgency for a EU-wide price cap on energy prices, or failing that, a national one.

Draghi, who remains in a caretaker role until a new government is sworn in, had for months already pressed EU authorities in Brussels for the same remedy.

© 2022 The Associated Press

What you need to pay attention to when creating icons?
Останні новини
French court upholds intl arbitration decision to recover $1.

French court upholds intl arbitration decision to recover $1.

The French supreme court upheld the decision of the International Arbitration Court to recover $1.1 billion from the Russian Federation in favor of the state-owned Oschadbank (Kyiv) for the bank's loss of assets due to the annexation of Crimea, De...

Interfax-Ukraine

G7 price cap on Russian oil begins

G7 price cap on Russian oil begins

Several Western countries began a $60-per-gallon price cap on Russian oil today, which could affect markets. Elisabeth Braw, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, joins "CBS News Mornings" to discuss the impact. CBS News Streaming Ne...

Sen. Warnock facing off with Herschel Walker in Georgia runoff election

Sen. Warnock facing off with Herschel Walker in Georgia runoff election

With one day to go until the runoff election, early voting numbers have already shattered records within the state.

Ukraine War: How will winter impact frontline troops?.

Ukraine War: How will winter impact frontline troops?.

Retired Sir Vice-Marshal Sean Bell takes a closer look at the West's cap on Russian oil and the impact of winter on frontline troops in Ukraine. He says the cold weather conditions are making it "very difficult" for Putin's troops to use precision...

See what Trump said about ‘our beloved Constitution’ before calling for its ‘termination’.

See what Trump said about ‘our beloved Constitution’ before calling for its ‘termination’.

“CNN This Morning” rolls the tape on former President Donald Trump’s past public comments about the US Constitution after he called for its termination to overturn the 2020 election and reinstate him to power in a post on social media. #CNN #News

Live: GA Senate candidate Raphael Warnock holds ‘Students for Warnock’ event.

Live: GA Senate candidate Raphael Warnock holds ‘Students for Warnock’ event.

Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock holds a ‘Students for Warnock’ event in Atlanta, Georgia. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news se...

Iranian official says morality police are being abolished amid widespread protests.

Iranian official says morality police are being abolished amid widespread protests.

After months of protests, an Iranian official says the country has abolished its morality police, although the status is not yet certain. The force has been the focus of protests since the in-custody death of a young woman named Mahsa Amini earlie...