In his first public rally since being shut out of Italy’s government, League leader Matteo Salvini has defiantly pledged to force a referendum on the nation’s proportional electoral system.
Chanting “Matteo! Matteo!” and wearing “Salvini Premier” T-shirts, thousands of League voters welcomed Mr Salvini like a superstar in Pontida, the town in Lombardy where traditionally the party holds its annual meeting.
It is the first in a series of League-led rallies intended to oppose the newly formed coalition between the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party that took office last week.
“This is the Italy that will win,” the far-right former interior minister told the cheering crowd. “Every month, I will call on our 1,000 mayors and governors to limit the damage of those incompetents temporarily in government and prepare for a future Italy with new laws and a referendum for an electoral system that is clear: who wins governs.”
Yesterday’s speech marked the start of an aggressive campaign for the regional elections this autumn.
Mr Salvini is also attempting to gather five million signatures on a petition to force a referendum to change to a majority electoral system, rather than the current mixed system of proportional and first-past-the-post.
In a reversal of Mr Salvini’s anti-migrant policy, the new government yesterday allowed a ship to land 82 migrants on the island of Lampedusa after six days at sea.
© Daily Telegraph, London
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