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Italy’s Meloni declares victory, claims leadership for next government

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This is a night of pride for the Brothers of Italy but it’s a starting point and the situation is difficult and needs contribution from everyone, Meloni said.

Italian right-wing leader Giorgia Meloni, whose party came out on top in general elections, said she would seek to lead the next government and would work for all Italians.

“Italians have sent a clear message in favour of a center-right government led by Brothers of Italy,” she told reporters in Rome on early Monday, adding that “we will do it for all” Italians.

She said that the night is a pride for the Brothers of Italy but it’s a starting point not a finishing line.

“Situation is difficult and needs contribution from everyone,” Meloni said.

“If we are called upon to govern this nation, we will do so for all Italians, with the aim of uniting the people, of exalting what unites them rather than what divides them,” Meloni told reporters. “We will not betray your trust.”

Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party came out on top in Italian elections on Sunday, according to the first exit polls, putting her eurosceptic populists on course to take power.

The party won between 22 percent and 26 percent of the vote, according to national broadcaster RAI.

A right-wing coalition with her allies, Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, was expected to win a clear majority in both houses of parliament.

The result must still be confirmed but risks fresh trouble for the European Union, just weeks after the right wing outperformed in elections in Sweden.

READ MORE: How ‘fascist’ is the party of Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s PM frontrunner?

Democratic Party concedes defeat

Italy’s main centre-left group, the Democratic Party (PD), conceded defeat early Monday in a national election and said it would be the largest opposition force in the next parliament.

“This is a sad evening for the country,” Debora Serracchiani, a senior PD lawmaker, told reporters in the party’s first official comment on the result. “(The right) has the majority in parliament, but not in the country.”

Provisional results showed that a right-wing alliance led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party had won around 43% of the vote and was on course for a clear majority in parliament.

Meloni, who campaigned on a motto of “God, country and family”, has abandoned her calls for one of Europe’s biggest economies to leave the eurozone, but says Rome must assert its interests more in Brussels.

But the self-declared “Christian mother” — whose experience of government has been limited to a stint as a minister in Berlusconi’s 2008 government — has huge challenges ahead.

Like much of Europe, Italy is suffering rampant inflation while an energy crisis looms this winter, linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

The Italian economy, the third largest in the eurozone, is also saddled with a debt worth 150 percent of gross domestic product.

READ MORE: Five things to know about Giorgia Meloni – frontrunner in Italian election

Turnout is expected to be lower than in the 2018 elections.

Meloni had been leading opinion polls since Prime Minister Mario Draghi called snap elections in July following the collapse of his national unity government.

Hers was the only party not to join Draghi’s coalition when, in February 2021, the former European Central Bank chief was parachuted in to lead a country still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

For many voters, Meloni was “the novelty, the only leader the Italians have not yet tried”, Wolfango Piccoli of the Teneo consultancy told AFP news agency before the election.

READ MORE: Italy’s undecideds: Can they reverse far-right’s electoral gains on Sunday?

Source: TRTWorld

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Uthuru Thila Falhu to reduce imports, ensure food security: Minister Saeed

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Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has emphasised the government’s endeavor to enhance food security through the Uthuru Thila Falhu project, aiming to curtail imports.

In an interview with a private media outlet, Minister Saeed underscored the significance of locally sourced products in ensuring food security for citizens. He also highlighted plans for island-level production.

Additionally, Minister Saeed outlined a upcoming initiative set to launch in Uthuru Thila Falhu, focusing on bolstering food security by cultivating ample fruits, vegetables, and seafood to cater to both resorts and residential areas across the nation. He said that the project aligns with President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s vision for the country, aiming to transform Uthuru Thila Falhu into a pivotal food hub.

Furthermore, Minister Saeed disclosed that the Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone has entrusted the China Harbour Engineering Company with reclaiming land and establishing an agricultural zone in Uthuru Thila Falhu. The project includes the creation of a specialized agricultural zone serving as a pivotal distribution center for agricultural products and inputs.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Six independent MP-elects sign with PNC

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Six independent candidates who were elected to the Parliament in the recent elections have signed with the main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC).

In the parliamentary elections held on Sunday, PNC had endorsed several independent candidates over those contesting on the party’s ticket.

A spokesperson from the PNC confirmed on Wednesday that six independent candidates have signed with the party.

All six joined PNC on Tuesday.

They are:

  • Dr. Anara Naeem: Huraa constituency
  • Hassan Zareer: Mathiveri constituency
  • Ahmed Zameer: Central Machangolhi constituency
  • Ahmed Riyaz: Thimarafushi constituency
  • Yaseen Abdulla: Naifaru constituency
  • Azim Abdul Azeez: Vilingili constituency

The PNC had secured a landslide victory in Sunday’s elections; winning 66 out of 93 seats. With the six MP-elects who signed on Tuesday, the ruling party will have 72 seats in the next parliamentary assembly.

This does not take into account the candidates from other parties backed by the government; Maldives National Party (MNP)’s leader Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)’s leader Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, and Mohamed Abbas – a political from MDA who won the Velidhoo seat.

The MP-elects who signed with PNC on Tuesday includes former party members who lost the PNC primaries held in January. They later ran in the elections as independent candidates, with the government backing their candidacy over that of the ruling party’s own candidates.

This includes Zameer and Ahmed Riyaz. Their rival PNC candidates had later dropped out of the race and backed their candidacy.

Meanwhile, Hassan Zareer, the incumbent Mathiveri MP, had won the 2019 elections on a ticket from the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). But he, along with 13 other lawmakers from MDP, defected to PNC after MDP’s Ibrahim Mohamed Solih lost re-election.

In this year’s polls, Zareer ran for re-election as an independent candidate, but with the government’s backing.

The move by the six independent MP-elects to join PNC comes after the MDP-majority Parliament passed an anti-defection bill on April 1.

The bill, which stipulates that parliamentarians will lose their seat for floor crossing, was signed into law by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu last week.

Meanwhile, a separate bill to include anti-defection provisions in the constitution is in the works in the Parliament.

The 20th parliamentary assembly will be sworn in on May 28.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Abdul Raheem express confidence in retaining majority of Parliament

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Special Advisor to the President Abdul Raheem Abdulla has expressed confidence that the newly elected Parliament will be retained. The remarks were made during a programme aired on PSM News.

The ruling party, People’s National Congress (PNC) secured the super majority of the Parliament, following the parliamentary elections held on April 21. Abdul Raheem stated that the majority retained is close to 80 members, including 66 PNC candidates elected, who were endorsed by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. He affirmed that the new Parliament would strive to amend laws and regulations such that residents attain the maximum benefit, unlike previous Parliaments.

Abdul Raheem claimed to be aware of the reasons behind the incapacity of previous Parliaments of being retained, and revealed that he knew the stories behind the resignation of 12 parliamentarians during the tenure of Former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Hence, he claimed to be aware of the necessary initiatives and preparations to maintain the majority of the newly elected Parliament.

Additionally, Abdul Raheem disclosed that certain candidates who were elected had previously held senior parliamentarian positions. Therefore, he ensured that the majority elected by the residents will be retained, unlike previous Parliaments.

Source(s): PsmNews

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