Italians prepare for municipal elections and all eyes are on Rome

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Municipal elections are about to start in over 1000 towns and cities in Italy, but a low turn-out is expected on both Sunday and Monday.

Former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who took over as the leader of the right-wing 5-Star Movement in August, has been campaigning hard.

He’s up against the anti-migrant, far-right leader Matteo Salvini whose League party is on the slide.

It’s down from a high of 34% during the European election in 2019 to around 20% now, according to recent polls.

The League has been losing out to another far-right party, the Brothers of Italy, which may well overtake it.

More centrist elements in the party have been challenging Salvini who is still on trial for preventing a charity ship with 147 migrants and refugees on board from docking anywhere in Italy

And if he’s convicted Salvini could spend 15 years in prison.

But all eyes are on the mayoral contest in Rome, which is in a mess — literally. Rubbish is rotting on the streets and even wild boars have been spotted roaming around the city.

If the current mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi from 5-Star, loses then Giuseppe Conte’s leadership of the movement will look doomed before it’s even properly begun.

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