M5S and PD accuse each other of mafia links

ROME – Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S), accused his centre-left rivals the Democratic Party (PD), of letting those involved in corruption cases run in the March elections, but Matteo Renzi, the PD Secretary hit back by alleging links between M5S and the Spada Clan mafia gang.

 Writing on his blog on Sunday, Di Maio, presented a list of candidates from rival parties who were involved in legal battles. The comments came in response to Renzi’s earlier claim that many of M5S candidates were unpresentable at the upcoming elections.

 In a later post, the Movement's leader then alleged that the PD had received nine million euros over four years from those linked to the Mafia Capitale investigation at a fundraising dinner. The Capitale investigation involved the alleged misappropriation of government funds in Rome by criminal gangs and led to the imprisonment of Rome’s former mayor in July 2017.  

 Di Maio argued that M5S were, by contrast, “a political force that not only prevents convicts from appearing on the lists, but also in many case those simply accused.”

 Renzi hit back from his Facebook account, suggesting that M5S’s leader “always does the same thing when in difficulty: attacks me and the PD,” and that the Movement's candidate in Lazio, Emanuele Dessì, had connections to the Spada mafia gang in Ostia.