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Italy's opposition holds primary for new leader

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Italy's opposition holds primary for new leader


Italy’s main opposition party is holding a countrywide primary today to elect a new leader.

An eve-of-poll sex scandal involving one of its regional politicians has not helped. But the hope is that a new face nationally will revive the Democratic Party’s flagging fortunes. Pierluigi Bersani has already won an internal vote. The former Industry Minister hopes for further endorsement in today’s ballot in which all centre-left sympathisers are invited to have their say. The one-time Communist has said that employment issues are Italy’s number one problem. Also vying for the post is interim boss Dario Franceschini who sees himself as the man to breathe new life into the party. “Maybe this is my last speech as General Secretary. Only you can decide that this won’t be the case,” he told activists on Satuday. Surgeon Ignazio Marino is an outsider. Whoever wins, the aim is to beat Silvio Berlusconi at the next general election. Because, despite all his sex scandals, the prime minister’s conservative government still leads the opinion polls.

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