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Who is Giorgia Meloni, leading the PM race in Italy?

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalSep 20, 2022 | 17:38

Who is Giorgia Meloni, leading the PM race in Italy?

Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italy's right wing party Fratelli D'Italia (Brother of Italy). Photo: Getty Images

Italy is set to vote the next government in on September 25. The previous government, headed by PM Mario Draghi, resigned in July. However, he was asked by President Sergio Mattarella to act as the caretaker PM till fresh elections were held. His coalition government had collapsed after a lot of political infighting. 
 
Who will win? 
In the new election, Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italy's small right-wing party Fratelli D'Italia (Brother of Italy) is expected to be crowned as the new Prime Minister. Under her leadership, her party saw a huge increase in voter support from 4% in 2018 to 25% in 2022. 

But there is another fact which is also very interesting. Around 42% of Italians are either undecided on who to vote, or will refrain from voting altogether, Al Jazeera reported. 

Italy has also seen seven governments in the past 11 years, a big reason why the people of Italy have drifted away from politics.

Italy's political system has been called out for being unstable as the country has seen 67 Cabinets in the 76 years since the Italian republic was created. 

Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italy's right-wing party, Brothers of Italy. Photo: Getty Images

Who is Giorgia Meloni? A 45-year-old single mom, Girogia Meloni has held several posts of importance in Italy. In 2006, Meloni was elected to the Chamber of Duties, and became its youngest-ever vice-president. At 31, in 2008, she was appointed the Minister of Youth the the Silvio Berlusconi Cabinet. Meloni also has to herself the feat of being united Italy's youngest-ever minister. 

Just three years ago, Meloni was mocked by Italians for being a PM candidate. But now, she has emerged the strongest person for the job.

  • She stayed in the opposition and refused support to outgoing PM Mario Draghi and kept her position intact. This, in fact, made her more popular, and helped solidify her outsider status.
  • To win the elections, Meloni has joined hands with Matteo Salvini's League Party and former PM Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia or Forward Italy party.
  • Her motto this election is "God, family and homeland". With this, she has taken on her critics who called her election danger to democracy and that being a right-winger, she would roll back civil rights and push the country closer to nationalist and far-right parties like Spain's Vox party.
  • For the past 10 years, she has also criticised the European Union and her policies have always been about kicking illegal immigrants out. 
People of Italy will vote for a new government on Sunday (September 25). Photo: Getty Images

How does Italy vote a new PM? The voting system in Italy is complex.

  • The Italian Parliament has 400 seats in the lower house, the Chamber of Duties; and 200 seats in the Senate of Republic or the upper house.
  • Voters need to cast one vote each for the Chamber and the Senate.
  • In the current electoral voting system of Italy, 37% of the seats will be allocated based on the first-past-the-principle post, which means whoever gets the maximum number of votes wins the seats. The rest are allocated by proportional representation.
  • Italians aged above 18 are eligible to vote but they don't directly elect the Prime Minister. Instead, the head of the government is picked once a parliament convenes and the candidate wins both the confidence vote and the President's approval.

On Sunday, September 25, the country will vote in a new government. According to surveys, Brothers of Italy party, which got 32 seats in 2018 elections, is the most popular party and is expected to win the election. If Brothers of Italy wins the election, Giorgia Meloni is expected to be Italy's new PM.

Last updated: September 20, 2022 | 17:38
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