Giorgia Meloni is set to become the first female prime minister in Italy after a general election. The Brothers of Italy leader is now a part of the most far-right government Italy’s seen since the fascist era of Benito Mussolini.
Early Monday morning, Giorgia Meloni addressed the media and her supporters after claiming victory to become Italy’s next prime minister. According to reports Meloni said it was “a night of pride for many and a night of redemption.”
According to the Italian Interior Ministry, far-right parties in Italy are on track to win 44% of the vote this election season, which will now be led by Meloni, the leader of the conservative Brothers of Italy party. 63% of votes have been counted with the Brothers of Italy winning at least 26% of the vote so far. While it may take weeks to form the new government, final results are expected later Monday.
Meloni has been involved in Italian politics since 2006, and co-founded the Brothers of Italy party in 2012; a political party whose agenda is deeply rooted in anti-immigration policies and skepticism over the European Union (EU).
“It’s a victory I want to dedicate to everyone who is no longer with us and wanted this night. Starting tomorrow we have to show our value … Italians chose us, and we will not betray it, as we never have.”
In Italy’s last election the Brothers of Italy party won 4.5% of the vote, however, its popularity among citizens has increased in recent years. The country has shown a lot of support for anti-establishment parties such as the Five Star Movement and Salvini’s League, led by Matteo Salvini.
“Center-right in clear advantage both in the House and in the Senate! It will be a long night, but already now I want to say THANK YOU,” tweeted Salvini early Sunday evening.
Meloni is a deeply conservative politician who’s openly anti-LGBT+, and has threatened to place same-sex units under review, which were initially legalized in 2016. She has also said, on record, that she views abortion as a “tragedy.”
Former prime minister Giuseppe Conte was unsuccessful in his bid to revive the Five Star Movement in Italy, a party focused on upholding center-left values. In a recent Facebook post, Conte promised to lead an “uncompromising opposition” to future conservative parties.
“We will be the outpost for the progressive agenda against inequalities, to protect families and businesses in difficulty, to defend the rights and values of our Constitution.”
Democratic Party member Debora Serracchiani conceded defeat early Monday morning, calling the results a “sad evening for the country.”
“Undoubtedly we cannot, in light of the data seen so far, not attribute the victory to the right dragged by Giorgia Meloni. It is a sad evening for the country,” she told reporters after conceding.
The main issues being discussed leading up to this election included Italy’s current housing crisis, a 209 billion euro package from the European Covid-19 recovery fund, and the nation’s support of Ukraine.
Meloni dedicated her near win to “all the militants, managers, supporters and every single person who – in these years – has contributed to the realization of our dream, offering soul and heart spontaneously and selflessly. We won’t betray your trust. We are ready to lift Italy up.”
Emiliana De Blasio, an adviser for diversity and inclusion at LUISS University in Rome, told CNN that although Meloni is making history as Italy’s first female prime minister, her politics don’t align with the fight to advance women’s rights.
“Meloni is not raising up at all questions on women’s rights and empowerment in general,” she said.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.