Sicilian victory marks Berlusconi's comeback
10 November, 2017
The centre-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party claimed a stunning victory in the local election in Sicily, an autonomous region of Italy with youth unemployment of nearly 60%.
Centre-right candidate Nello Musumeci, 62, is the new governor of the island after final results showed that he won 39.9% of the vote last Sunday. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement's (M5S) Giancarlo Cancelleri was second with 34.6%, at third place was the candidate of the ruling Democratic party. Forza Italia is the centre-right group with the highest number of regional deputies with 12. But the biggest single party in the new regional assembly is the 5-Star Movement with 19.
Berlusconi, the four-time former premier, had been written off after years of sex scandals and graft allegations. In Sicily he teamed with far-right Northern League and a young right-wing Brothers of Italy party. They both ran campaigns virulently condemning a recent influx of migrants, suggesting this will be a dominant theme in the national election due by next May.
Although latest opinion polls suggest the centre-right alliance will win the general vote, a recent change to the electoral law suggests that no one bloc will obtain an absolute majority of seats, foreseeing political insecurity.