Italian PM Meloni and right-wing allies keep control of Abruzzo region

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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her right-wing allies have kept control of the central region of Abruzzo, election results on Monday showed, bouncing back from a shock defeat in Sardinia two weeks ago.

The result will give Meloni a boost ahead of European elections due in June, cementing the position of her Brothers of Italy party as the predominant force in Italian politics.

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With almost all the ballots counted from Sunday’s regional election, the right-wing incumbent governor Marco Marsilio had secured more than 53 percent of the vote, while the candidate supported by all major opposition parties took some 46.5 percent.

The result was a blow to the center-left bloc, which had laid aside its many internal rivalries to campaign together, hoping for a repeat of its recent success in Sardinia where Meloni’s candidate was ousted from power.

Meloni’s party won some 24 percent of the vote in the mountainous Abruzzo, well ahead of the second largest group, the center-left Democratic Party (PD), which took 20.4 percent.

It was a mixed night for the prime minister’s allies. While the center-right Forza Italia party performed more strongly than expected, winning more than 13 percent, the League, headed by Matteo Salvini, took just 7.6 percent, underscoring its recent decline.

Read more: Meloni sees Italy growing faster than EU partners this year, contrary to predictions

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