Italy's right-wing coalition survives key test in Abruzzo regional vote

AFP - [email protected]
Italy's right-wing coalition survives key test in Abruzzo regional vote
Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni delivers a speech during the Italy-Africa international summit in January 2024. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

PM Giorgia Meloni's right-wing coalition won Sunday's regional vote in Abruzzo – a result that marked a setback for Italy's centre-left opposition forces ahead of June's European elections.


The polls were seen as a test for Meloni after her defeat two weeks ago in Sardinia – her first loss since taking office in October 2022.

The outgoing president of Abruzzo, Marco Marsilio, won 53.5 percent of the vote against 46.5 percent for his opponent Luciano D'Amico, according to results published by the interior ministry.

Marsilio in 2019 was the first regional president from Meloni's Brothers of Italy party.

His win followed fierce campaigning by Meloni and members of her coalition government to shore up the vote in the central Italian region.

They sent key ministers to Abruzzo over the past two weeks and announced major investments there.

"Marco Marsilio is the first president in the history of Abruzzo to be re-elected by the voters. We are very proud," Meloni said Monday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

READ ALSO: Centre-left triumphs in Sardinia in defeat for Italy's PM Meloni

University rector D'Amico was backed by the main opposition Democratic Party (PD) and the Five Star Movement (M5S), as well as two smaller centrist parties.

Meloni's Brothers of Italy party, which was one of Marsilio's backers, won 24 percent of the votes.

It was followed by PD with 20 percent – twice as much as in 2019 – and the right-wing Forza Italia (FI) with 13 percent.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini's League party, a member of the coalition government, took just seven percent of the vote, compared to 27 percent last time.


Deeply divided, Italy's opposition parties have struggled to make headway against Meloni since she took office, with nationwide opinion polls giving Brothers of Italy a consistent seven- or eight-point lead.

But the Sardinia election on February 25th gave them hope, even though on that occasion the joint Democratic Party-Five Star candidate only won by less than 2,000 votes.

The Basilicata regional elections, slated to be held on April 21st and 22nd, promise to be challenging: the opposition still does not have a single candidate facing the right-wing coalition, which is backing the region's outgoing president.


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