A center-right candidate with a neo-fascist past is Rome’s new mayor.
Gianni Alemanno in a runoff defeated center-left candidate Francesco Rutelli by more than 100,000 votes. Alemanno received nearly 54 percent of the vote, and Rutelli slightly above 47 percent.
Alemanno, 51, ran with the center-right People of Liberty party of newly elected Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and had served as agriculture minister in a previous Berlusconi government. But he began his political career with the youth wing of the former neo-fascist MSI party.
Though many Roman Jews supported Berlusconi, some Jewish leaders had called on voters to choose Rutelli, as Alemanno enjoyed the public backing of extreme-right groups, including the hard-line Destra (Right) party.