Running against the political machine, Virginia Raggi has just reshaped the Italian political landscape by being elected Mayor of Rome, Italy. So what does this Italian woman have in common with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump? Why did Raggi win?
Virginia Raggi’s Anti-Establishment Campaign
First, Raggi ran an anti-establishment campaign against Italy’s democratic party. She represents the Five Star Movement populist anti-corruption party. Reggi won a landslide victory in the Italian capital. Rome has been mired in political corruption for years. In fact, the former mayor Ignazio Marino resigned in 2015 following a financial scandal. 26 of the 48 members of the Rome City Council also resigned. Virginia Raggi will now be a mayor for a city that has been without one for the last eight months. Her party’s platform opposes political compromises and she campaigned on governmental integrity.
Center-Left Democratic Political Opponent
Raggi’s opponent Roberto Giachetti is a center-left candidate, according to CNN. Also, he has been a politician since 1993 and is member of the Italian Democratic Party.
Discontentment with Current Administration
Rome has been rocked in political corruption, especially over the last several years. Rome has been dubbed the “Mafia Capitale.” Raggi’s landslide victory, winning over 67% of the popular vote, reflected the voters’ discontentment with mainstream Rome political parties. Virginia Raggi is “precise, determined, and a stickler for detail,” Italy’s official ANSA news agency reported. She is also willing to take on the Vatican for unpaid taxes, reported to be as high as 450 million dollars.
Lack of Experience
Raggi is a 37-year old lawyer from Rome. Raggi was elected three years ago as a “councillor,” sitting on Rome’s City Council. While Raggi’s critics pointed out that she lacked experience, she campaigned on a platform addressing Rome’s ongoing problems, ranging from corruption to infrastructure.
Virgina Raggi’s Victory Speech
In her victory speech, Raggi said “It really is a historic result, and we must work every day for the next five years, because it will be tough. We know how Rome is, but the tougher it is, the greater it will be. We will succeed in doing what we have planned to do.”
It appears that it’s not only Rome who has fallen to the Five Star populist anti-corruption party. Turin, Italy is a city known for the car manufacturer Fiat. The heavyweight Democratic party incumbent in Turin, Piero Fassino, was defeated in his re-election to Chiara Appendino. Appeddino is another anti-establishment candidate who won almost 55% of the vote.