Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Francesco Rocca elected president of Italy's Lazio region

Rocca was backed by Italy's right-wing coalition.

Francesco Rocca has been elected the new president of Italy's central Lazio region, which is centred around Rome, after winning in the regional elections by a large margin.

Rocca, 57, was backed by the right-wing coalition of Italian premier Giorgia Meloni and his win will see the Lazio region governed by the right after a decade under the centre-left.

Despite being a late contender in the race, Rocca won almost 54 per cent of the vote, far ahead of his main challenger Alessio D'Amato of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), who secured 33.5 per cent.

A lawyer, Rocca succeeds the outgoing Lazio governor and senior PD figure Nicola Zingaretti who was first elected as the region's president in 2013 and went on to serve two terms in office.

In an interview with Rome newspaper Il Messaggero on Tuesday, Rocca said that "listening and dignity" would be the keywords of his mandate and that in addition to upgrading emergency healthcare services his priorities would include improving the region's road and rail infrastructure ahead of the Jubilee Year 2025.

"Our aim is for us to govern the region for 10 years", he told Radio RAI 1 on Tuesday.

Rocca has extensive experience as a manager in the health sector, formerly serving as president of the Italian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

He also has a long association with right-wing circles in Rome. During his short election campaign he focused on key issues facing the Lazio region such as healthcare and waste management.

When he was 19, Rocca was convicted of heroin trafficking and was sentenced to three years, an episode that he has never hidden, claiming it served as a valuable lesson to change his life for the better.

Rocca's win in Lazio coincides with the victory of Attilio Fontana, of the right-wing Lega party, who returns as governor of the northern Lombardia region around Milan.

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