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Italy premier Giorgia Meloni to run in EU elections

Elections for European Parliament take place in June.

Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni on Sunday said she would stand in June's European elections as the lead candidate in her ruling right-wing Fratelli d'Italia (FdI) party.

Meloni, who made the announcement on stage during a party conference in Pescara, said: "We want to create a majority that brings together the centre-right forces and send the left into the opposition even in the EU."

The move by the premier is viewed as a symbolic bid to boost support for her party in the upcoming vote however if elected she would not stand down as Italy's prime minister.

Instead, her votes would be transferred to the next FdI candidate in line for a seat in the European parliament.

Urging voters to write "only Giorgia, my first name" on the ballot because "I will always and only be one of you, one of the people", Meloni said she would not use "a single minute" of her time as prime minister to campaign.

Her party aims to obtain at least 26 per cent of the vote, as it did 18 months ago in elections that resulted in the formation of Italy's current right-wing government, news agency ANSA reports.

Meloni is the latest party leader to enter the race for the European parliament, following Elly Schlein of the centre-left opposition Partito Democratico (PD) and Antonio Tajani of the centre-right Forza Italia, part of the ruling coalition.

Photo credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com.

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