With less than 70% of the ballots counted, not even the opposition would disagree that Giorgia Meloni would become the country’s new prime minister.
Preliminary results show an alliance of far-right parties cruising to victory with at least 44% of the vote, and the Brothers of Italy party, the largest of the coalition, winning at least 26% of the votes. The final results would be announced later today (Monday), but Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory, and the opposition, on the other hand, had accepted defeat.
Addressing the media in the early hours of Monday, Meloni promised not to betray the Italian people.
She said: “It’s a victory I want to dedicate to everyone who is no longer with us and wanted this night. Starting tomorrow, we have to show our value … Italians chose us, and we will not betray it, as we never have.”
“If we are called upon to govern this nation, we will do so for all Italians, with the aim of uniting the people … to make them proud of being Italians, to waive the Italian flag,” a visibly emotional Meloni added.
With the victory, Meloni would become Italy’s first female prime minister and the country’s first far-right leader since World War II.
She vowed to reduce taxes during her campaign, fight illegal immigration, and put the interest of Italy ahead of the interest of the European Union. The only divisive issue within the coalition is Ukraine. While she expresses her unreserved support for Ukraine, other parties of the broad coalition think the sanctions were affecting the Italian economy adversely hence the need to revisit them.
Meloni is also an anti-LGBT and has pledged to revisit its legalization once she becomes prime minister.
Leader of Brothers of Italy’s lower house Francesco Lollobrigida also thanked Italians for the opportunity given to his party.
“We thank the Italians for the trust they gave us … A sense of responsibility is prevailing now and we are starting to feel the weight of what is happening,” Francesco said. “We have to work hard – Italy is in the midst of an international crisis, an energy crisis so there is little to celebrate, but much to work (on).”
Oppositions concede defeat
After the Italians spoke at the polls, the leader of the opposition coalition, Giuseppe Conte, conceded defeat but pledged that his party would run an “uncompromising opposition.”
“We will be the outpost for the progressive agenda against inequalities, to protect families and businesses in difficulty, to defend the rights and values of our Constitution,” he said.
Leader of the Democratic party, Debora Serracchiani, conceded defeat on Monday morning but believed the choice made by the Italians was wrong. Debora described the results as a “sad evening for the country.”
“Undoubtedly we cannot, in light of the data seen so far, not attribute the victory to the right dragged by Giorgia Meloni. It is a sad evening for the country,” she said.
Although the election results are almost confirmed, a new government would be formed sometime in mid-November. The 45-year-old Meloni would have an opposition to deal with as the Brothers of Italy and the far-right coalition could not win a clear majority of 70%. She would also have an economic crisis to deal with as Europe is battling with energy prices and soaring inflations.