Italy's opposition social democrats elect woman as new leader

World
Tue, 28 Feb 2023 9:49 GMT
Italy's Democratic Party (PD) on Monday elected Elly Schlein to replace former prime minister Enrico Letta at the head the social democratic party. Schlein thus becomes head of the opposition.
Italy's opposition social democrats elect woman as new leader

Italy's Democratic Party (PD) on Monday elected Elly Schlein to replace former prime minister Enrico Letta at the head the social democratic party. Schlein thus becomes head of the opposition.

Schlein, 37, surprised observers by taking 54% of the vote to beat Stefano Bonaccini, president of the Emilia-Romagna region.

Women now head Italy's two most important parties for the first time. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni leads the ultra-right Brothers of Italy.

Swiss-born Schlein, who also holds US citizenship, aims to rejuvenate the PD and pursue leftist policies in strong contrast to the programme of Meloni's right-wing government.

The PD suffered a defeat in elections in autumn last year and was forced to go into opposition. Letta resigned as a result.

"We have managed it. Together we have created a small major revolution," Schlein said after the result was announced.

The PD was now "ready to raise its voice with a clear line," she said. More than 1 million Italians voted in the election, While membership of the party was not required, voters had to commit to its values.

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