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Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, backdropped by Euro banknotes, gestures during the recording of a talk show on Italian state television, Rome, Jan. 11, 2018 (AP photo by Andrew Medichini).

The Many Unknowns Heading Into Italy’s Perilous Elections

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

Italians go to the polls this Sunday in a climate of uncertainty, amid fears, not unfounded, that their country’s political stability is at stake.

Three main political forces are contending for power: On the right, a shaky alliance of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and two far-right parties, the League and the Brothers of Italy; the maverick and populist Five Star Movement; and the governing, center-left Democratic Party. They are polling roughly in that order, followed by Free and Equal, a left-wing coalition of disgruntled Democratic Party veterans who broke away in 2017. But 30 percent of the electorate is still undecided. Many frustrated, disillusioned voters simply won’t go to the polls. ...

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