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Rome’s First Female Mayor In Almost 3,000 Years

After being ruled by men for thousands of years, Rome elects lawyer Virginia Raggi as its new leader.

Rome has elected its first female mayor in its more than two-and-a-half millennia of existence.

Virginia Raggi, an anti-establishment candidate who entered politics only five years ago, won 67.2% of the vote, defeating Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s candidate in the two-person runoff.

Virginia Raggi is Rome’s First Female Mayor In Almost 3,000 Years history.

During the campaign she capitalised on strong public anger over corruption and the deterioration of the city’s public services.

Ms Raggi’s victory marked a significant breakthrough for her party, the populist Five-Star Movement, which was founded by outspoken comedian Beppe Grillo seven years ago.

It had previously only controlled a handful of towns, but analysts say it has outgrown its image as a protest party.marketplusme-img-00042

The victory comes after dozens of people in the Italian capital, including local politicians from mainstream parties, were implicated in corruption probes regarding city contracts.

An expenses scandal last year forced the resignation of a centre-left mayor, months after it was revealed the city had been haemorrhaging cash to organised crime.

Five-Star’s proposals include tougher penalties on tax evasion and white-collar crime, and introducing universal income support.

The governing Democratic Party took another blow in Turin, where its veteran incumbent mayor was defeated by a Five-Star candidate.

Mr Renzi insisted he would not resign regardless of the local election results, but he could face further embarrassment over Ms Raggi’s opposition to Rome’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

He has campaigned for the city to host the event, but the new mayor has warned that preparation for the Games risks inviting further corruption in payoffs and kickbacks.

Ms Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer, is part of a new generation of Five-Star leaders who have emerged with growing public profiles as Mr Grillo has retreated from frontline politics.

They are being taken increasingly seriously after repeated banking scandals under the Mr Renzi’s tenure, coinciding with economic stagnation.

Ms Raggi pledged that start of a “new era” of transparency and legality, saying her victory was a win for the citizens of Rome, though critics have said she will face a tough challenge to run the near-bankrupt city given her lack of experience.

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