Italy’s Meloni and allies keep control of Abruzzo region

By Thomson Reuters Mar 11, 2024 | 2:02 AM

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her right-wing allies have kept control of the central region of Abruzzo, election results on Monday showed, bouncing back from a shock defeat in Sardinia two weeks ago.

The result will give Meloni a boost ahead of European elections due in June, cementing the position of her Brothers of Italy party as the predominant force in Italian politics.

With almost all the ballots counted from Sunday’s regional election, the right-wing incumbent governor Marco Marsilio had secured more than 53% of the vote, while the candidate supported by all major opposition parties took some 46.5%.

The result was a blow to the centre-left bloc, which had laid aside its many internal rivalries to campaign together, hoping for a repeat of its recent success in Sardinia where Meloni’s candidate was ousted from power.

Meloni’s party won some 24% of the vote in the mountainous Abruzzo, well ahead of the second largest group, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which took 20.4%.

It was a mixed night for the prime minister’s allies. While the centre-right Forza Italia party performed more strongly than expected, winning more than 13%, the League, headed by Matteo Salvini, took just 7.6%, underscoring its recent decline.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, editing by Giulia Segreti)