Italian right-wing parties rocked by scandals ahead of local elections

Italian cities vote for new mayors in local elections on October 3-4.

Italy’s two main right-wing political parties, the Lega and the Fratelli d’Italia (FdL), were both involved in separate scandals just days before the local elections.

La Lega, led by Matteo Salvini, were the first to face a bomb after the party leader’s social media guru Luca Morisi resigned amid a sex and drug scandal last week.

Morisi, 48, was investigated for alleged drug possession and sale, before facing allegations that he hired two Romanian prostitutes for 12 hours, allegedly supplying them with GHB drugs and cocaine.

The Lega scandal was followed by an explosive investigative report from Fanpage, which aired on an Italian TV show Piazzapulita Thursday evening, uncovering allegations of money laundering and illicit financing involving FdL figures and their associates in Milan.

Party leader Giorgia Meloni, furious at the show’s timing, demanded to see the “100 full hours” of footage that included explicit racist, fascist and sexist jokes as well as anti-Semitic comments and references to Hitler.

The scandals come as five major Italian cities – Rome, Milan, Naples, Turin and Bologna – prepare to elect new mayors and city councilors in municipal elections.

Some 12 million inhabitants of more than 1,000 Italian cities will have the right to vote in the elections to be held on October 3-4.

The center-right alliance, made up of Lega, FdL and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, supports candidates in each of the five big cities, including Enrico Michetti in Rome.

Michetti challenges the outgoing mayor of the capital Virginia Raggi of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), who also faces competition from Roberto Gualtieri of the PD (center-left), the leader of Azione Carlo Calenda and 18 other candidates.

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