Romans are choosing between centre-left newcomer Ignazio Marino and centre-right incumbent Gianni Alemanno in mayoral elections on June 9-10.
The second-round run-off vote pits former surgeon Marino, a candidate for the Democratic Party (PD), against Alemanno – a member of Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party.
In the first round of voting, featuring 19 candidates, Marino captured more votes than Alemanno.
James Walston, Professor of International Relations at the American University of Rome described Marino: “He’s completely new, compared to somebody like Gianni Alemanno, who’s spent the last 25 or 30 years in politics.”
Analysts say Rome’s mayoral race has been kept relatively low key this time – because the PD and the PdL are now in coalition together within Italy’s national government, created after February’s inconclusive parliamentary elections.