What to Make of the New Leader of Italy’s Populist Five Star Movement

Luigi Di Maio of Italy’s Five Star Movement speaks during a protest outside parliament moments after a vote in favor of a new election law, Rome, Italy, Oct. 12, 2017 (AP photo by Gregorio Borgia).
Luigi Di Maio of Italy’s Five Star Movement speaks during a protest outside parliament moments after a vote in favor of a new election law, Rome, Italy, Oct. 12, 2017 (AP photo by Gregorio Borgia).
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BOLOGNA—Italy’s Five Star Movement has a new leader. At the national meeting for the upstart populist party late last month—calling it a congress would be far too formal for the anti-establishment movement—its co-founder, comedian Beppe Grillo, stepped down as the political leader, although he will remain its “garante,” or judge of final appeal for internal disputes. An online primary in which a mere 37,000 people voted anointed Luigi Di Maio as the new political head of the M5S, as the party is known in Italy. The election was clearly the result of a backroom fix of the kind the M5S […]

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