Populist surge puts first woman in charge of Rome


Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was left reeling Monday after stinging local election reverses that saw female mayors from the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) elected in Rome and Turin.

Virginia Raggi’s triumph in Rome made her the first female leader of the capital since it was founded over two and a half millennia ago.

And it was a win based on exactly the kind of pro-change platform and mood that had, until now, underpinned Renzi’s popularity.

In his first reaction to Sunday’s losses, Renzi made light of the setbacks, stressing big regional variations and arguing that the gains for M5S reflected a desire for change that his government shared. – READ MORE

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