Mussolini's granddaughter not to run in Italy election

Benito Mussolini's granddaughter rules herself out as election candidate.

Rachele Mussolini, the granddaughter of Italy's fascist dictator, said on Wednesday that she would not be a parliamentary candidate in the country's general election on 25 September, saying her "cumbersome" surname would have caused difficulty for her far-right party Fratelli d'Italia (FdI).

Currently a member of Rome's city council, Mussolini was elected last year with more than 8,000 first preferences, the most votes received by any candidate in the municipal elections.

At the time she put the landslide result down to "hard work" rather than her family name.

However, as Italy prepares for an election that a conservative right-wing bloc comprising the FdI is poised to win, Mussolini says that if she ran her party would be placed "in difficulty" and would have to "defend itself" over her surname, news agency ANSA reports.

Mussolini, 48, clarified that she has not been asked to run by her party - led by Giorgia Meloni - although she has received plenty of requests to do so from her followers on social media, reports HuffPost.

Named after the fascist dictator's first wife, Rachele is the daughter of actress Carla Maria Puccini and jazz pianist Romano Mussolini, the youngest son of Il Duce.

First elected a city councillor in 2016 on a civic list supporting Meloni - tipped to become Italy's first female prime minister - Mussolini ran in the 2021 election on an FdI ticket.

Last week Meloni, 45, released a tri-lingual video message in which she claimed that fascism had been consigned "to history" and that the Italian right “unambiguously condemns the suppression of democracy and the ignominious anti-Jewish laws”.

Topping the opinion polls, the FdI is joined in the 'centrodestra' coalition by the right-wing Lega of Matteo Salvini and the centre-right Forza Italia party of Silvio Berlusconi.

Italy's upcoming election follows the resignation of outgoing premier Mario Draghi after three coalition parties withdrew their support from his national unity government.

Photo Il Giornale