ATAC referendum fails to meet quorum

ROME – A referendum on Rome’s public transport company ATAC on Sunday did not meet the minimum number of votes required to be validated.

 Just 16.3 percent of those eligible turned out to cast their vote, a long way short of the 33.3 percent required for a quorum. The question presented to the people of Rome was whether the city’s public transport services should be put out to tender. Between 74 and 75 percent of the 386,000 who voted supported this idea, but the transport system will still be under public ownership, thanks to a failure to reach a quorum.

 Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi was quoted as saying “ATAC will remain in the hands of the citizens,” in celebration after the result of the vote. Her party, the Five Star Movement, had called for a ‘no’ vote in the referendum.

 Those advocating for a vote on ATAC have said they will appeal against the decision, according to sources, arguing that there should be no quorum on a vote such as this. Additionally, rumours of unrest at various polling centres were reported throughout the day, with claims that many were “preventing citizens from exercising their right to vote.”