Ignazio Marino, a member of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party, was elected mayor of Rome after defeating the incumbent candidate backed by Silvio Berlusconi in a runoff vote.
Marino won almost 64 percent to Alemanno’s 36.1 percent, with about 95 percent of precincts reporting, according to official results on posted on the Interior Ministry’s Web site.
“We accept the defeat and congratulate Marino,” Gianni Alemanno, the outgoing mayor, said today in remarks broadcast by SkyTG24. About 45.4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, compared with 53.8 percent in the first round last month, according to the Interior Ministry.
The showdown cast Letta and Berlusconi, the billionaire ex-premier, on opposite sides even as the two men stand as partners in a make-shift national alliance. Alemanno cited the low turnout in his concession speech and said politicians must work to counter voter disillusionment.
Democratic Party candidates also won in Siena, Brescia, Treviso and Ancona, the biggest of cities with mayoral runoff races.
Italians are shying away from the polls as lawmakers struggle to find remedies for recession and unemployment. Ballot-box enthusiasm suffered further in February when inconclusive national elections led to a two-month government stalemate and, eventually, the Letta-Berlusconi alliance that nullified traditional party distinctions.
Italy’s economy, which began its slide in the fourth quarter of 2011, will probably contract 1.8 percent this year before rising 0.4 percent in 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said last month. Industrial output unexpectedly declined in April, falling 0.3 percent from March, national statistics office Istat said today.
Marino and Alemanno were forced to face off in a second round when neither one reached the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid the runoff. Marino finished with 42.6 percent and Alemanno won 30.3 percent of the vote in the first round when there were multiple candidates on the ballot.
The first-round vote eliminated the upstart Five Star Movement, which, led by Beppe Grillo, aims to attract Italians disillusioned with Letta’s Democratic Party and Berlusconi’s People of Liberty. Five Star, which won about a quarter of the votes in the February national election, won about 11 percent of the Rome ballots in May.
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