Sunday

21st Jul 2019

Berlusconi accused of paying for votes

The Italian prime minister has been accused of bribing poor voters in the southern city of Naples.

Former interior minister and city mayor Rosa Russo Jervolino said earlier this week that Mr Berlusconi "had bought votes with 30 euro", according to Spanish press reports.

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It is alleged that supporters of Mr Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition, the House of Freedoms, offered the money in return for a vote for his ally Gianfranco Fini.

It is not clear if the allegations relate to the European Parliament elections or local elections which also took place earlier this week.

Mr Berlusconi was badly beaten in the elections by the centre-left Olive Coalition backed by European Commission President Romano Prodi.

Allegations

Votes were bought on a regular basis "in my own neighbourhood of Mercato-Pendino, in Lavinaio and in other modest districts", said the Christian democrat mayor who backs Mr Prodi’s party.

"This is nothing new on the part of the centre-right, and I am not revealing any secret because everybody knows", she said, according to Spanish daily El Mundo.

ABC reports that vote buying is common in the poorest neighbourhoods of southern Italian cities.

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