News / Europe

Polls Close in Italy's National Election

Voting officials count ballots in a polling station, Rome, Feb. 25, 2013.
Voting officials count ballots in a polling station, Rome, Feb. 25, 2013.
VOA News
The polls have closed in Italy, where voters are now anxiously awaiting the results of the country's most important elections in years.
 
Elections officials are now starting to count ballots after Italians completed a second day of voting Monday, though officials say turnout appeared to be lower than in past elections.
 
Exit polling and projections based on early results showed Pier Luigi Bersani's center-left Democratic Party leading in the lower house of parliament with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People of Liberty party leading in the Senate.
 
Bersani campaigned in support of some of the tough economic reforms spearheaded by current Prime Minister Mario Monti while Berlusconi is looking to make an unlikely political comeback. The billionaire former prime minister is facing charges ranging from fraud to having sex with an underage prostitute.
 
Many of the exit polls have comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement in third.
 
Voters angry over a prolonged economic slump and a discredited political elite cast ballots with many looking to anti-establishment parties promising radical change.
 
Fellow European Union members are keeping a close eye on Italy's two-day national election that could shape the future of the economic bloc's third-largest economy.

  • Five Star Movement leader and comedian Beppe Grillo and his wife Parvin Tadjik arrive to cast their votes in Genoa, Italy, Feb. 25, 2013.
  • Democratic party leader Pier Luigi Bersani casts his vote in Piacenza, Italy, Feb. 24, 2013.
  • A woman casts her vote in a polling station in Rome, Feb. 24, 2013.
  • A voting official prepares ballot papers at a polling station in Rome, Feb. 24, 2013.
  • Carabinieri stop a protester from the women's rights organization Femen outside the polling station where former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi cast his vote in Milan, Italy, Feb. 24, 2013.
  • A nun casts her vote in a polling station in Rome, Feb. 24, 2013.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs