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All eyes on Rome as Italian cities vote for mayors

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All eyes on Rome as Italian cities vote for mayors

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Local elections are being held across Italy with dozens of cities voting for mayors.

All eyes are on Rome with the Italian capital seen as a key test for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi ahead of national polls later this year.

Plagued by political scandal and mired in billions of euros of debt, Romans remain frustrated over problems with the city’s public transport, potholes in the roads and mounting rubbish on the streets.

“How’s it possible that the capital of our country can look like this? This situation is disgraceful for a city like Rome. It’s ridiculous!” said one man.

“Public transportation is in a lousy condition. Streets are filled with rubbish, and look at these roads. They are full of potholes,” said another woman.

Rome’s former mayor was ousted more than six months ago and several candidates are vying for the top job, including frontrunner Virginia Raggi, from Italy’s anti-establishment 5-star movement. The party has promised to clean-up politics.

Candidates on the right, include the Northern league’s, Giorgia Meloni, and Alfio Marchini, an independent backed by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, while the left and Prime Minister Renzi, are gambling on Roberto Giachetti.

If as polls suggest, no candidate wins outright, a second round run off will be held later this month on June 19.

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