Thursday

23rd May 2019

Regional assembly loses chief after Italian elections

The first female chief of the EU's regional assembly is about to stand down less than two months into her five-year mandate, as she lost elections in her home Italian region of Piedmont.

Mercedes Bresso, an Italian Socialist, was the incumbent in a razor-thin race against a candidate from the hard-right Northern League, which governs together with Silvio Berlusconi's political group. She lost by 0.3 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.

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  • Mercedes Bresso's mandate was short-lived (Photo: Committee of the Regions)

Ms Bresso accepted her loss, but insisted that votes be recount, a step she deemed "necessary" since the margin was so small.

"In this country, it does not matter to govern well: Talking counts more than doing," she commented on the result.

According to the Committee of the Regions' (CoR) rules, if one of its members loses his or her elected office, membership in the assembly terminates automatically.

The 65-year old was elected at the beginning of February as the first ever female president of the relatively new EU body and should have carried out a five-year term. She had pledged to raise the profile of the little-known institution, especially since the new EU legal framework expanded the areas in which the CoR has competence to give advice on new legislation, for instance energy and environment.

"Indeed, the elections on March 28-29 in Piedmont have not returned Mercedes Bresso to office. However, she remains president of the region until the official announcement of results, most likely until the end of April. Until then, she also remains President of the CoR," Athenais Cazalis de Fondouce, CoR's porte-parole told this website.

A date has not yet been set for when the regional assembly will hold early elections for its new head.

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