In Italy’s parliamentary election on Sunday, a right-wing candidate who ran on a nationalist platform is expected to become the country’s first female prime minister.
On Sunday, Italians vote for a new parliament and decide who will run the country next. Polls show that the Brothers of Italy party will get 25% of the vote on Sunday, making party leader Giorgia Meloni the first woman to lead the country as prime minister.
“I’m Giorgia, I’m a woman, a mother, I’m Italian, and I’m a Christian,” Giorgia Meloni told her supporters at a rally in central Rome in 2019 that has since gone viral. “No one is going to take that from me.”
Reuters called the Brothers of Italy party a conservative and right-wing populist political party. Since 2018, when it only got 4% of the vote, the party’s popularity has risen like a rocket.
Political analysts have called the Brothers of Italy party “neo-fascist,” and if Meloni were to win, the country would have its most conservative government since World War II.
Meloni ran for office on a plan to stop illegal immigration by putting up a blockade to patrol the Mediterranean, cutting taxes, and protecting traditional family values.
She says the European Union is too bureaucratic, but she has said she wouldn’t push for an “Italexit,” and she presents herself as a strong supporter of NATO. She speaks out against what she calls “lobbies” for LGBT people and works to give Europe a “Christian identity.”
In a recent interview with Reuters, Meloni, who is 45 years old, said, “My greatest wish is to lift up, to lift our country back up from decline.”
Analyst Luigi Scazzieri of the Centre for European Reform told Voice of America that Meloni’s rise in popularity is due to her policy and economic views and her “down-to-earth” way of talking to voters.
Analyst Luigi Scazzieri said, “Part of it has to do with her policy platform, her socially conservative views, and her economic views, which are also social in a way, like raising people’s pensions or benefits. But a big part of it is also because of her charm. I want to point out, for example, that she talks in a very normal way. It’s a great way to reach out to regular voters, “Scazzieri added. “Finally, she has a lot of credibility because she hasn’t been in government for ten years. She can say that she represents something new.”