Renzi’s PD win 5 of 7 regions in elections

ROME – Italy’s Democratic Party (PD), led by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi look set to claim five of seven regions in the aftermath of Sunday’s regional elections. However the party lost the notorious left-wing stronghold of Liguria after two candidates split the PD vote.

 With almost all districts having declared their votes, the PD has observed successful results in the regions of Puglia, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche. However there was less positive news in Liguria, where after a decade in power the PD coalition lost out to Giovanni Toti, a centre right politician who enjoys the backing of Silvio Berlusconi amongst others.

 In an unsurprising result, the right-wing Northern League claimed the region of Veneto in the north-east of Italy, as candidate Luca Zaia claimed over 50% of the vote. By contrast the PD’s Alessandra Moretti could only manage to garner 22.74% of votes in the region.

 In the run up to the regional elections one of the major talking points concerned the candidacy of Vincenzo de Luca, the PD candidate in Campania. De Luca unseated the centre-right incumbent with 41.11 percent of Sunday’s vote but question marks remain surrounding his future, as he may be forced to resign if adjudged to have fallen foul of the Severino laws, which concern corruption within politics.

 The anti-mafia commission chair Rosy Bindi, had described De Luca as unfit to stand in the election due to a prior conviction under corruption charges. In January, he was convicted of abuse of office with regard to an incinerator project which he presided over as mayor of Salerno and received a suspended sentence of a year in prison along with a ban from public office for a period of 18 months.