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Italy's centre-left claims Sardinia election win in setback for Meloni

Alessandra Todde set to narrowly defeat Paolo Truzzu as centre-left claims victory in Sardinia election.

The centre-left candidate in Sardinia's race for regional governor was on track to narrowly win the election on Tuesday, in a setback for the right-wing coalition of Italy's premier Giorgia Meloni.

Alessandra Todde, backed by the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) and the leftwing populist Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), was set to defeat Meloni's candidate Paolo Truzzu by the narrowest of margins, winning 45.4 per cent of the vote compared to her rival's 45 per cent.

Todde, 55, is a former vice president of the M5S and she served as deputy industry minister in the government of Mario Draghi.

Truzzu, 51, is the incumbent mayor of the Sardinian capital Cagliari and was the candidate of the rightwing Fratelli d'Italia party of Meloni who chose him in the race for regional governor.

Meloni inisted that Truzzu run in the place of the outgoing governor Christian Solinas - of the nationalist, regionalist and separatist Partito Sardo d'Azione - who was the preferred candidate of the Lega, the rightwing party of the premier's coalition ally Matteo Salvini.

Solinas withdrew from the race last month after being placed under investigation for corruption.

Todde's victory signals the first regional electoral loss for Meloni since she came to power in 2022.

PD leader Elly Schlein and M5S leader Giuseppe Conte celebrated with Todde in Cagliari on her election as the first woman president of Italy's second-largest island.

Schlein said that Todde's win signalled "a wind of change" and hailed the election result as "a victory for the Sardinians".

Conte congratulated Todde on becoming the first M5S governor of an Italian region and hailed her victory as the first electoral success at regional level for a joint PD-M5S candidate.

With a background in computer science, Todde lived abroad for around 10 years, working in the fields of technology, energy and finance before embarking on a career in politics in 2019.

Photo ANSA

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