Berlusconi ally set for north Italy win

ROME Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:46am IST

Roberto Maroni, newly elected party leader of Northern League, leaves the Ambrosetti workshop, an international economic meeting, in Cernobbio, next to Como, September 9, 2012. REUTERS/Paolo Bona/Files

Roberto Maroni, newly elected party leader of Northern League, leaves the Ambrosetti workshop, an international economic meeting, in Cernobbio, next to Como, September 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Paolo Bona/Files

Related Topics

ROME (Reuters) - The head of Italy's Northern League, an ally of Silvio Berlusconi, is on course to win the Lombardy regional presidency vote, giving the centre-right control of the richest and most productive area of the country.

Roberto Maroni was forecast to take 42.4 percent of the vote with the centre left's Umberto Ambrosoli on 37.2 percent, projections from RAI state television showed.

The election in Lombardy, a northern Italian powerhouse with an economy bigger than Belgium's, ended on Monday, the same day as the national election which has left Italy's political parties struggling to form a government.

The regional election result was only counted on Tuesday.

It had no direct link to the national vote but a victory for the Northern League in its home region could strengthen its alliance with Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party, which has more clout in national politics.

The two parties, which were coalition allies in Berlusconi's last government, have had a patchy relationship since their alliance broke apart when the scandal-plagued government fell in 2011 and many grassroots League members have been wary about renewing the pact.

The PDL previously ran Lombardy until a separate corruption scandal brought down regional president Roberto Formigoni last year. It agreed not to put up a candidate to run against Maroni as the price for a national election pact.

The Northern League, which has struggled to recover from a scandal of its own which brought down its founder Umberto Bossi last year, did worse than expected in the national election, winning only 18 lower house seats and 17 seats in the Senate.

It campaigned to keep a greater share of the tax revenues from Italy's rich northern industrial heartland in the regions where they are raised. Some of its members want to create a breakaway region in the north, which the party calls Padania.

(Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Michael Roddy)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Countering China

Countering China

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Society created Delhi gang rape convicts: Filmmaker Leslee Udwin.  Full Article | Related Story 

Kohli Censured

Kohli Censured

BCCI warns Virat Kohli against repeat of misbehaviour.  Full Article 

MUDRA Bank

MUDRA Bank

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

PML(N)'s Hope

PML(N)'s Hope

Pakistan's ruling party looks for gains in upper house election  Full Article 

For Women's Right

For Women's Right

Afghan men don burqas, take to the streets for women's rights.  Full Article 

U.S. Envoy Attacked

U.S. Envoy Attacked

Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea  Full Article 

New Strategy

New Strategy

Ashwin mulls 'one-sided' ploy against big-hitters.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage