27 Feb. () –
Elly Schlein is the new leader of Italy’s Democratic Party (PD), after beating Stefano Bonaccini in the party’s primaries with more than 53 percent of the vote.
With 80 percent of the ballots counted, Schlein – who was an MEP between 2014 and 2019 – has obtained 53.8 percent of the votes, while Bonaccini has obtained 46.2 percent, thus becoming the first woman to lead the center-left party.
The winner of the primaries has declared after the results that “the mandate for change is clear”: “We made a small great revolution and this time they didn’t see us coming either,” she stated.
“From today we will give a contribution to the organization of the opposition in Parliament and throughout the country in defense of the poor whom the Government hits and does not want to see,” he said, adding that the Democratic Party will be “a big problem for the Government of Giorgia Meloni”.
Bonaccini, who governs in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna and started as a favourite, has acknowledged his failure and has called his party partner to congratulate her, as indicated on his profile on the social network Twitter.
“The voters have democratically handed her victory and now a new season opens for the Democratic Party. I for one guarantee the unity that I have promised in recent weeks, and I am confident that Elly will be able to point an equally united direction to keep the party together.” and make it stronger”, declared Bonaccini.
The one who until now has been the secretary general of the Italian PD, Enrico Letta, has congratulated both candidates and has indicated that his successor “will succeed” where he has not.
The leader of the 5 Star Movement, Giuseppe Conte, has celebrated the election of Schlein, remarking that the voters of the PD “have called for a change (…) on work, the environment, poverty, support for companies and the middle class with the empty agenda of (former Prime Minister Mario) Draghi”.
For her part, the Italian Prime Minister congratulated Schlein and the PD “for the mobilization of their voters in Congress.” “I hope that the election of a young woman at the head of the Via del Nazareno helps the left to look forward and not back,” she said, according to the newspaper ‘Repubblica’.
This result has also been commented on by the leader of the Northern League, Matteo Salvini, who has given his “best wishes” for the new secretary of the PD and added that “he trusts that the left will finally respect itself and recognize the democratic value of the popular vote”.