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Rachele Mussolini: Fascist dictator's granddaughter wins most votes in Rome's municipal elections

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By Euronews  with AFP
A man receives his ballots at a polling station in Rome.
A man receives his ballots at a polling station in Rome.   -   Copyright  Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP

The granddaughter of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini looks set to win the most votes in municipal elections in Rome.

According to a near-final count on Wednesday, Rachele Mussolini of the far-right Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia) party was the most popular candidate.

The 47-year-old had received more than 8,200 votes after ballots were counted in more than 97% of polling stations in the Italian capital.

In municipal elections, Italian voters can choose a list or tick the names of candidates.

But Ms Mussolini, who will be serving her second term as a city councillor, insisted that her surname had nothing to do with her popularity.

"The person is more important than the surname, however heavy it may be," she told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Rachele's late father Romano was a jazz pianist and the fourth child of the fascist dictator.

Her half-sister Alessandra -- another granddaughter of Mussolini -- also served as a member of the European Parliament between 2014 and 2019.

Right-wing parties performed relatively poorly in local elections in Italy, losing mayoral races in key cities such as Milan, Naples, and Bologna.

But in Rome, a run-off is now scheduled later this month between right-wing candidate Enrico Michetti and the former centre-left finance minister Roberto Gualtieri.

With current mayor Virginia Raggi of the Five Star Movement (M5S) out, opinion polls suggest Gualtieri is the favourite to win in two weeks’ time.

Additional sources • ANSA