The Italian right-wing parties have also put a reactionary politician at the top of the second chamber of parliament. Lorenzo Fontana was elected President of the House of Representatives in Rome on Friday. The 42-year-old is an arch-Catholic member of the right-wing populist League.
Fontana received 222 votes in the fourth ballot on Friday and thus the required absolute majority of the 400 MPs. The election of the former minister caused outrage in the opposition. Fontana wants to restrict the right to abortion and is a staunch opponent of gay marriage, as several media outlets such as the daily newspaper "La Repubblica" pointed out on Friday.
In addition, he was - at least until Russia attacked Ukraine - an admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin. After Moscow annexed Crimea, Fontana wore a T-shirt with the inscription "NO sanzioni alla Russia" in the European Parliament in autumn 2014 as a protest against EU sanctions against Moscow. From 2018 to 2019 he was Family Minister and then Europe Minister.
It was only on Thursday that the ultra-right Ignazio La Russa was elected head of the other parliamentary chamber, the Senate; he is a fascism nostalgic who has pictures and statues of Mussolini in the living room. La Russa from the far-right Meloni party Fratelli d'Italia and Fontana constitutionally hold the two highest offices in the republic after the president.
After the chairpersons of the chambers have been elected, President Sergio Mattarella will in all likelihood entrust election winner Giorgia Meloni with forming a government in the next few days.
Recently, however, there have been upheavals within Meloni's legal alliance: According to media reports, Silvio Berlusconi in particular from the conservative Forza Italia was angry because Meloni did not want to give his party the desired ministries. Among other things, the 86-year-old is demanding the judiciary - a corruption trial is still going on against Berlusconi himself in connection with parties and underage women. The ex-Prime Minister, who returned to the Senate after nine years, also wants his longtime confidante Licia Ronzulli to be in the cabinet. Meloni strictly refused.
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