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    LIVE UPDATES: The Winding Road to Rome: Italy Votes to Elect New Parliament

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    2018 General Election in Italy (26)
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    On Sunday, Italians are heading to polling stations all over the country to vote in an election that could empower the country's center-right coalition or the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) – that is, if locals don't decide to give one more chance to the governing Democratic Party (PD). The results are expected on Monday.

    This year could further complicate Italy's political landscape. The Mediterranean country has abundant and constantly shifting party alliances, meaning any result will be much more complex than it seems on first glance. European experts have repeatedly said that Italy's immediate political future cannot be read from the voting results: The coalition deals matter.

    The main parties to watch are Forza Italia (center-right), the Democratic Party (PD) and the Five Star Movement (M5S). The main three politicians to follow are Silvio Berlusconi (Forza Italia), Matteo Renzi (Democratic Party) and Luigi Di Maio (Five Star Movement).

    Di Maio has ruled out any coalition deals. However, experts believe that in the absence of a clear winner he still could enter into some agreements with center-right Forza Italia, run by comeback king Berlusconi.

    Berlusconi, who cannot become prime minister again, suggested he might name Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, for the role if Forza Italia wins.

    READ MORE: Political Stress Test: How Far Does Populist Sentiment Go in Italy?

    Still, the most likely scenario experts envision is a victory for the center-right coalition forged by four right-wing parties: Forza, Matteo Salvini's anti-immigrant separatist Lega (formerly Lega Nord, or Northern League, which has decided to soften its animosity toward southern Italy), Giorgia Meloni's far-right Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy) and Rafaele Fitto's small party Noi con l'Italia (Us with Italy).

    In 2017, the Italian Parliament adopted a hybrid voting system, under which 36 percent of the seats are allocated by a first-past-the-post system, while 64 percent are given through proportional representation. The mixture is called "Rosatellum." It is believed to benefit coalitions and alliances and to work against M5S.

    Voting takes place between 7 a.m. local time (6 a.m. GMT) and 11 p.m. (10 p.m. GMT). The final outcome is expected to be announced before Monday afternoon.

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    • 07:49

      Deputy Secretary of Italian Ruling Democratic Party Admits Defeat in General Elections

      “We, like everybody, are closely following the results of the elections. It is obviously that we are speaking about a visible, clear and obvious defeat,” Deputy Secretary of the ruling Italian Democratic Party Maurizio Martina siad.

    • 05:35

      Center-Right Coalition Reportedly Wins Italian Elections

      The center-right coalition won the Italian general elections with 37.17 percent of votes in the lower chamber of the parliament while the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) party comes second with 29.8 percent, the country's Interior Ministry said on Monday after having processed 21 percent of ballots in the Chamber of Deputies and 4 percent in the Senate.

    • 02:51

      Preliminary Outcome Shows Triumph of M5S

      Projections of the results of the Italian elections show a triumph of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) party, M5S lawmaker Alessandro di Batista told reporters on Monday.

      "The results are a triumph of the M5S. They prove one thing: that all the others will have to come and talk to us, maybe for the first time," di Batista said.

    • 02:18

      M5S: Voters' Trust to Become Pillar of 'New Legislature in Italy'

      The anti-establishment Five Star Movement  (M5S) has enjoyed voters' trust at the general elections in Italy, and this will become the pillar of the new legislature, Alfonso Bonafede, member of the Chamber of Deputies from the M5S told reporters.

      "Voters have expressed their trust to the Five Star Movement, and this will become the pillar of the new legislature," Bonafede said.

      Federico Niglia, international relations professor at LUISS University of Italy, told Sputnik, commenting on the polls, that the high results showed by the M5S may lead to its inclusion in the potential ruling majority.

      "It is still too early to say, but if [polls results] are confirmed, it means that a potential majority has to include the M5S," Niglia said.

      Exit polls shown by the Rainews 24 broadcaster put M5S behind the center-right coalition with some 32.5 and 32 percent in Chamber of Deputies and Senate respectively, compared to 39.5 percent and 41 percent, judging by the upper limit of the projections.

    • 01:54

      Italian General Election's Turnout Exceeds 70%

      The turnout at the Italian general elections amounts to 73.03 percent as of 11 p.m. local time (22:00 GMT) when polling stations were closed, the country's Interior Ministry said.

      The ministry counted data on turnout at 1,300 out of 7,960 comuni.

      According to the exit polls, shown by the Rainews 24 broadcaster, the elections in both chambers of the parliament have been won by the center-right coalition composed of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, far-right Matteo Salvini's Lega (formerly Lega Nord), right-wing Brothers of Italy and a small party Us with Italy. The coalition may count on up to 39.5 percent of support for the Chamber of Deputies and 41 percent for the Senate.

      The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) headed by Luigi Di Maio was supported by some 32 percent of voters, according to the poll.

    • 01:33

      Center-Right Coalition Reportedly Beating M5S - Exit Poll

      The center-right coalition with Forza Italia and Lega, run by Matteo Salvini, is projected to get an edge over the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), both in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, according to the official exit polls shown by the Rainews 24 broadcaster.

      The center-right coalition is set to get 39.5 percent of support for the Chamber of Deputies and 41 percent for the Senate. M5S is projected at 32.5 and 32 correspondingly.

    • 01:07

      Polling Stations Closed

      Polling stations have closed at the Italian general elections, believed to be one of the most unpredictable the country has ever had, and overcast by the rise of the right-wing, populist and anti-establishment forces, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

      On Sunday, the Italians voted to elect members of the two chambers of parliament (945 in total). Fears that populist, far-right and anti-establishment movements do really well in this vote have been quiet eloquent.

      This election has been a competition among the ruling Democratic Party (PD), led by Matteo Renzi, center-right Forza Italia, led by a famous comebacker of the Italian politics Silvio Berlusconi, far-right anti-immigrant Lega (formerly Lega Nord), run by Matteo Salvini, and anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) with Luigi Di Maio.

    • 22:04

      EU Wants Italy to Take all Immigrants and Prevent Them From Moving Anywhere - Academic

      Parliamentary elections in Italy

      Italy's Vote: 'Abstract' Promises Made, No Concrete Issues Addressed - Academic

      The Italian general election, which this time is to combine a US-style first-past-the-post scheme with the proportional representation system better known in Europe, is in full swing; Sputnik talked to Luigi Marco Bassani, professor of politics at Milan University, about the possible outcomes of Sunday’s political event.
      Read more
    • 21:34
    • 21:18
    • 21:17
    • 20:51

      'The Establishment Showed All its Lack in Answering to the People's Issues' - Lega Party MP

      Bandiere dell'Italia e dell'UE

      Lega Party Lawmaker Says Confident About Center-Right Victory in Italy's Vote

      ROME (Sputnik) - The center-right coalition has a good chance to win the general election held in Italy on Sunday, and right-wing Lega party may well get an edge over the three other political forces in the center-right alliance, a member of the Chamber of Deputies from Lega, Massimiliano Fedriga, told Sputnik in an interview.
      Read more
    • 19:50

      Voter at Polling Station in Rome: 'There Are Not Many People Around'

      Polling operations begin in Rome, Sunday, March 4, 2018. An election in Italy on Sunday will determine the makeup of the nation's Parliament and its next government

      Italians Voting at General Election With Few Queues, Little Excitement Spotted

      ROME (Sputnik) - Italian general election held this Sunday, which may bring the right wing to the government, has been looking rather sluggish so far, with no long queues or high enthusiasm spotted at polling stations, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
      Read more
    • 19:23

      EU Politicians, Not Russian Media Can Impact Outcome of the Italian Elections - Sputnik Italy Observer

      European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker holds up a pen after signing document during the EU leaders meeting on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, in Rome, Italy March 25, 2017

      Italian Elections: It is the EU, Not Russia, Who is the Meddler – Journalist

      The harder the EU tries to impose its thought control on people in some of its member states, the less willing they will be to toe Brussels’ line, Sputnik Italy observer Marco Fontana said.
      Read more
    • 17:14

      Lega Nord's Matteo Salvani Chills Out as Italians Go to the Polls

      TWEET: Sun, swing and...vote Lega. Write in the comments where have you voted or where you will vote! Keep in mind to only put an 'x' on the symbol of Lega and nothing else on the ballot. If we are all committed in the word of mouth we will win.

    • 15:50

      Lines Form at Polling Booths Around Italy as Voting Continues

      TWEET: If you arrive at an Italian polling station, you're likely to find a very long line. Is it a sign of greater participation or is it just that the procedure to stamp out fraud takes time?

      TWEET: The situation at the polling station as of 12.00 pm. It takes 45 minutes to cast a ballot.

    • 15:45

      Italian Election Testing Ground for Populist Movements Worldwide - Bannon

      Italian general elections are an attempt by the citizens to retract their country's sovereignty blurred by the membership in the European Union, former chief strategist of US President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, said in an interview with the Corriere Della Serra newspaper.

      This election is crucial for the populist movements around the world and the results of the opinion polls in Italy show that populists would enjoy around 65% of popular support, which means that almost two-thirds of the country support the anti-establishment message of the populist groups, Bannon emphasized.

      Although Italians often consider themselves provincial in international politics, it is wrong to assume so, and Italy is now a crucial testing ground for the strength of sovereignty and of what it means today, Bannon went further. He noted that the burden of the immigration to Europe was put by Brussels on Italian shoulders, and that is why, the Italians now want back their sovereignty.

    • 15:42
    • 15:09

      Ex-Trump Aide Bannon Hopes Populists Will Win Italian Election, 'Pierce Brussels in the Heart'

      Bannon, who came to observe the Italian general election, he would like to see the victory of the 5-Star Movement and the League party in the ongoing vote.

      "I think if they create a coalition among all the populists it would be fantastic, it would terrify Brussels and pierce it in its heart," he said on Sunday in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

    • 14:56

      WATCH: Topless FEMEN Activist Breaks in as Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi Casts Ballot

    • 13:55

      All Ballots of Italians Voting Abroad Delivered to Rome

      According to the Italian Foreign Ministry, the documents are handed to the Italian capital’s Court of Appeal for an official counting of votes.

      One of the last deliveries was the ballot papers from Venezuela. The Foreign Ministry has thanked the diplomatic staff for managing to secure the voting for Italian citizens in a crisis-torn country.

    • 13:26

      Italy's Prime Minister Gentiloni Casts Ballot at Sunday General Election

      The prime minister voted at a polling station in Via Daniele Manin street in central Rome.

       

    • 13:09

      If Northern League Is in Italian Gov't It May Raise Criticism Toward EU - Prof.

      Northern League leader Matteo Salvini

      If Northern League Is in Italian Gov't It May Raise Criticism Toward EU - Prof.

      Significantly enough, the outcomes of the parliamentary election on March 4 in Italy might determine the relationship between the country and the European institutions, argued Lorenzo Pregliasco, professor of political science at the University of Bologna, in an interview to Sputnik.
      Read more
    • 10:50

      What if Berlusconi's Party Teams Up With the Ruling One?

      Another possible scenario is a so-called grand coalition between Forza Italia and the ruling center-left Democratic Party, led by Matteo Renzi. In this case, the government might save its relations with Europe, unlike under the center-right coalition.

    • 10:36

      What Happens if Coalition of Four Right-Wing Parties is Formed?

      In this case, Silvio Berlusconi's nominee European Parliament's President Antonio Tajani or Matteo Salvini himself will be able to become country's next prime minister. Famous political comebacker Berlusconi cannot assume this position himself due to a tax fraud investigation.

    • 10:16

      What if No Party Gets Majority?

      A hung parliament, where no party wins an overall majority, is also a possibility. In this case, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella will look for a figure who can command a majority. If not found, new election will be held after the summer.

    • 09:46

      Innovative Approach

      This election will be the first test of a new voting system - a mixture between first-past-the-post and proportional representation, and is believed to be one of the most unpredictable Italy has ever had.

    • 09:42

      What You Should Now About the Intrugue of Italian Election

      A polling station officer prepares the counting of the ballots at the end of the vote for a referendum on constitutional reforms, on December 4, 2016 in a polling station in Rome.

      Political Stress Test: How Far Does Populist Sentiment Go in Italy?

      ROME (Sputnik) - After a number of highly unpredictable votes in the last two years in Europe and across the ocean, it is now Italy's turn to test how far the anti-establishment and populist mood in the country may go at the general election on Sunday.
      Read more
    • 09:02

      Voting Starts in Italian Parliamentary Election

      Polling stations at the Italian general elections opened on Sunday as people are set to elect representatives for the Chamber of Deputies, lower house of the parliament, and the Senate, parliament's upper house.

      Stations will stay open until 11 p.m. local time (10 p.m. GMT).

      Around 50.7 million Italians are eligible to vote on Sunday.

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    LIVE UPDATES: The Winding Road to Rome: Italy Votes to Elect New Parliament
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    2018 General Election in Italy (26)

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    vote, election, Democratic Party (PD), Five Star Movement (M5S), Forza Italia party, Luigi Di Maio, Matteo Renzi, Silvio Berlusconi, Italy
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