Zingaretti elected as Secretary of Italy's Democratic Party

Zingaretti will lead the PD into what is seen as a new era for the party. Photo credit: Federico Catania

ROME - Nicola Zingaretti, current President of the Regional Government of Lazio, has been elected as the new Secretary of the Democratic Party [PD] and will assume office on the 17th March 2019.

 Zingaretti, a prominent member of the PD since its conception in 2007, won the election with an estimated 67% of the votes and in doing so saw off competition from Roberto Giachetti and former PD caretaker Maurizio Martina.

 This was seen as an important election for the PD as it served as a first real marker of success since the party suffered a crushing defeat at last year’s general elections.

 The perceived failure of the Renzi years led to fewer than a quarter of the Italian electorate voting in favour of the ruling PD, an outcome which saw the eventual formation of a coalition government formed of the League and the Five Star Movement.

 However, with an ever-rising deficit and falling growth rates, this coalition has proved far from stable and many PD supporters may see this as a fresh start and an opportunity to return to power.

 What will encourage party supporters further is that the 1.6million voter turnout is considerably greater than the party had foreseen.

 In his acceptance speech, Zingaretti stated that he wanted to “offer a new PD to the country”. He then went on to stress the importance of two keys words that he said should define this new era for the party: unity and change.  

 Zingaretti, brother to beloved actor Luca who plays the eponymous character in Inspector Montalbano, today travelled north to Piedmont in support of the contested new high-speed train line that would link Turin and Lyon.

 Holding true to his campaign promise, he spoke out saying that the first thing he wanted to do as PD leader was to “lend a hand to [Sergio] Chiamparino”, the President Piedmont who is a prominent campaigner for the line.

 A more concrete agenda and further plans for the future of the party will become clearer at the PD party conference on the day Zingaretti officially assumes this role.