Rome elects first female mayor; Five Star Movement gains momentum in Italy

ROME, June 20 (UPI) — Rome has elected its first female mayor in a victory seen as a momentum builder for the anti-establishment Five Star Movement in Italy.

Virginia Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer, and a political unknown a few months ago, has won 67 percent of the vote in the Sunday’s run-off election with the Democratic party’s Roberto Giachetti.

“For the first time Rome has a female mayor in an age where equality of opportunity remains a mirage,” Raggi said in her victory speech.

“I will be a mayor for all Romans,” Raggi said. “I will restore legality and transparency to the city’s institutions after 20 years of poor governance. With us a new era is opening.”

The win in Rome, and the victory by Chiara Appendino, another female candidate of the Five Star Movement, in Turin’s mayoral race, comes as serious challenge to Democratic prime minister Matteo Renzi’s government and revealed the public’s growing rejection of mainstream political parties.

The victories could fuel anti-globalist Five Star’s hopes for parliamentary elections in 2018, observers say.

Raggi will inherent a city drowning in $15 billion of debt and an electorate fed up with potholes, garbage and defective public transport and housing.

The Five Star Movement was founded in 2009 by Italian comedian Beppe Grillo Five Star has made anti-corruption it’s main issue.

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