The Italian Senate already has a new president: Ignazio La Russa, the right arm of Giorgia Meloni, with whom he founded Brothers of Italy, was elected today at the opening session of the new Italian Chambers, the starting point of the legislature that began after the elections of September 25. It is the first political victory for Meloni after she won at the polls.
La Russa, 75, is a veteran far-right militant from the post-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI), with whom he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1992. He later joined the National Alliance with Ginafranco Fini, was Minister of Defense under Silvio Berlusconi and in 2012 he founded with Meloni Hermanos de Italia, the new container into which a large part of the world from the MSI ended up.
Fate has wanted that the person in charge of proclaiming his appointment was Senator for life Liliana Segre, a Holocaust survivor who has given a moving speech in which she has recalled that her temporary presidency of the Senate has given her "vertigo" as it coincides with the centenary of the March on Rome, which started the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini.
Baptized as Ignazio Benito María, in a clear reference to Mussolini, La Russa now becomes the second position in the country behind the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella. The election of La Russa was taken for granted by a pact of the right-wing coalition formed by Brothers of Italy, the League and Forza Italia that won the elections. It has obtained 116 votes in favor - 104 were needed - but 65 people have voted blank in a secret election.
The vote has been surrounded by controversy because the Forza Italia senators have deserted the vote and only Berlusconi and former Senate President Elisabetta Alberti Casellati have turned out to vote. According to Italian journalists, he would have been elected with the votes of the 5 Star Movement, in a major break with the right-wing front. This is the first staging of Berlusconi's discomfort with Giorgia Meloni over the direction that the negotiations to form a government are taking. The tycoon, who has returned to the Senate after being expelled nine years ago for being convicted of tax fraud, is very angry at Meloni's rejection of Licia Ronzulli, one of his protégés, being a minister.
The first day for the new Italian representatives began today with the opening of a new reduced Parliament, with only 200 senators and 400 deputies, after the reduction approved in the last legislature. The next step will be the election of the president of the Chamber of Deputies, and everything seems to indicate that the agreement is for the leaguer Riccardo Molinari to be appointed.