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Right wing dominates Italy elections, with no clear winner in parliament

By Ed Adamczyk
Right wing dominates Italy elections, with no clear winner in parliament
Beppe Grillo, 5-Star Movement founder, arrives at a Genoa polling place to vote in Sunday's elections in Italy. The 5-Star Movement received 32 percent of the vote, with right-wing parties also doing well, but no clear winner was determined to lead parliament. Photo by Simone Arveda/EPA-EFE

March 5 (UPI) -- A right-wing alliance of parties pulled off a surprise dominance in Italy's elections Sunday, with the ruling center-left coalition finishing in third place and leaving a divided parliament in Rome.

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of libertarians, progressives -- and a large number of young, disaffected voters -- received 32 percent of the votes counted Sunday. The anti-migrant Euroskeptic League received about 18 percent. Both were regarded, only several years ago, as fringe parties.

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The coalition led by center-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi finished third, leading him to resign as Democratic Party leader. The Forza Italia Party led by former Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi, a Euroskeptic League ally, finished fourth.

The electoral result is a mixture of coalitions in which center-right parties won about 37 percent of the vote -- not enough to control the government -- compared to the center-left parties' 24 percent.

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With the Euroskeptic League receiving more votes than Forza Italia, League leader Matteo Salvini is now the coalition's most likely choice for prime minister, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Monday.

"It's an extraordinary victory. I see it as a vote for the future, the Italians have rewarded the future. The team with whom you must talk and govern is the center right," Salvini said. "I will remain a populist, those who listen to the people are doing their duty. Italians are fed up with radical chic."

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He added that the vote "punished the arrogance of Renzi and his people, and added that he rejects forming a coalition with the 5-Star Movement.

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