Over 128,400 call for ‘orangutan’ MP’s ousting

An online petition calling for the resignation of Roberto Calderoli has so far garnered 128,416 signatures - just two days after the Senate vice president compared the country’s first black minister to an orangutan.

Over 128,400 call for 'orangutan' MP's ousting
The Northern League's Roberto Calderoli compared Cecile Kyenge, Italy's integration minister, to an 'orangutan'. Photo: Vicenzo Pinto/AFP

The petition was started by journalist Daniele Passanante on campaigning website and has so far been signed by people across Italy and abroad.

Addressed to Senate President Piero Grasso, the petition says: “I call for the resignation of Senator Roberto Calderoli, the vice president of the Senate, following his racist statement.

“The racist stance expressed by Roberto Calderoli about Minister Cecile Kyenge is incompatible with the office of the vice president of the Italian Senate.”

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kyenge worked as a doctor in Italy before turning to politics. She was appointed minister for integration in April and has seen been the victim of numerous racist attacks.

Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, has so far withstood calls for his resignation over the remarks made at a political rally on Sunday.

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