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Italy's 5-Star backs Di Maio to carry on as leader after EU vote defeat

Italy's 5-Star backs Di Maio to carry on as leader after EU vote defeat
FILE PHOTO: Italian Deputy Prime Minister and 5-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio leaves after casting his vote in the European election in Pomigliano d'Arco, Italy May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Ciro de Luca/File Photo   -   Copyright  Ciro De Luca(Reuters)
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ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement on Thursday resoundingly backed Luigi Di Maio to carry on as leader following a bruising defeat in European parliamentary elections.

Di Maio got the backing of 80% of the 56,127 5-Star members who voted on the party’s online platform known as Rousseau, the movement said on its blog.

Thirty-two year-old Di Maio called for the ballot after 5-Star took just 17% of the vote at Sunday’s European election, half the tally of its coalition partner, the right-wing League, triggering internal attacks on his leadership.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones)

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