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The Latest: Le Pen lauds League’s showing in Italian vote


The Latest: Le Pen lauds League's showing in Italian vote

The Associated Press
The League Giancarlo Giorgetti arrives at the party headquarters in Milan to comment first electoral results, Monday night, March 5, 2018. More than 46 million Italians were voting Sunday in a general election that is being closely watched to determine if Italy would succumb to the populist, anti-establishment and far-right sentiment that has swept through much of Europe in recent years. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

    The Latest on Italy's parliamentary election (all times local):

    French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is celebrating the strong showing of the anti-immigrant, euroskeptic League party in Italy's election.

    Le Pen, the runnerup in last year's French presidential election and a loud critic of the European Union, tweeted Monday: "The spectacular advance and top showing of the League coalition led by our ally and friend Matteo Salvini is a new stage in the awakening of the people!" Le Pen didn't mention the strong showing of the League's rival, the 5-Star movement.

    As the initial results came in, Le Pen also tweeted, "The European Union is having a bad evening…."

    Le Pen's National Front party has lost steam and been in crisis since her crushing presidential defeat by pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron.

    Macron didn't immediately comment on the Italian result.

    Alexis Corbiere of the far-left Defiant France party said Monday on BFM television, "There is a deep wish for change in Europe. If a progressive, civic-minded force doesn't take the lead, you will manufacture monsters."


    8:20 a.m.

    Preliminary results released by Italy's interior ministry show the center-right coalition winning about 37 percent of the parliamentary vote and the 5-Star Movement getting about 31 percent, with the center-left coalition far behind with 23 percent.

    With no faction winning a clear majority, the results early Monday confirm that negotiations to form a government that can win a confidence vote in Parliament will likely be long and fraught.

    The partial results show the right-wing, anti-immigrant and euroskeptic League party of Matteo Salvini surpassing the establishment Forza Italia party of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi. The League captured around 18 percent, while Forza Italia had less than 14 percent.

    The results confirm the defeat of the two main political forces that have dominated Italian politics — Forza Italia and the center-left.

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