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Rome, Turin elect 1st female mayors

Virginia Raggi was elected on Sunday as Rome’s first female mayor in a triumph for the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) that represents a stinging setback for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Raggi swept into City Hall with two thirds of the votes cast in a run-off contest with Roberto Giachetti of Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

The anti-establishment M5S also claimed control of the northern city of Turin, where another woman, Chiara Appendino, 31, ousted the sitting PD mayor with the help of backing from the far-right Northern League.

The only consolation for Renzi was that the centre-left held on to Milan, where the former World Expo director Giuseppe Sala squeezed home with 51 per cent, as well as claiming predicted wins in Bologna and Naples.

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

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