Italians prepare for municipal elections and all eyes are on Rome

Municipal elections are about to begin in more than 1,000 towns and cities in Italy, but low turnout is expected on both Sunday and Monday.

Former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who took over as leader of the right-wing 5-Star Movement in August, has been campaigning hard.

He faces far-right anti-migrant leader Matteo Salvini, whose Liga party is in decline.

It has dropped from a high of 34% during the European elections in 2019 to around 20% now, according to recent polls.

The League has been losing to another far-right party, the Brothers of Italy, which could well surpass it.

More centrist elements in the party have challenged Salvini, who is still on trial for preventing a charity ship with 147 migrants and refugees on board from docking anywhere in Italy.

And if convicted, Salvini could spend 15 years in prison.

But all eyes are on the Rome mayoral race, which is literally a disaster. Garbage is rotting in the streets and wild boars have even been seen roaming the city.

If the current mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi of 5-Star, loses, the leadership of Giuseppe Conte’s movement will seem doomed even before it gets off to a good start.

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