Berlusconi backs Marchini as Forza Italia candidate.
Former civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso has pulled out of the Rome mayoral race, standing down as the Forza Italia (FI) candidate in favour of businessman Alfio Marchini.
The announcement by FI leader Silvio Berlusconi on 28 April came after recent polls showed Bertolaso lagging in fifth place, behind Democratic Party centre-left candidate Roberto Giachetti and Marchini, according to a report in Italian news agency ANSA.
The poll results suggested a battle for the top spot between the race's two women candidates: Giorgia Meloni of the right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia (FdI), and the anti-establishment MoVimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) candidate Virginia Raggi.
Photo Il Messaggero