Anti-Establishment Candidate Leads Rome Mayoral Race

Five Star Movement (M5S) candidate Virginia Raggi attends a press conference following the first results in the first round of the Rome mayoral election on June 6, 2016 in downtown Rome. 
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's party was locked in battle on Sunday for control of Rome and other cities in municipal elections seen as a test for the ruling party and the country's divided right.  / AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE        (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP – The anti-establishment Five Star party’s Virginia Raggi easily took the lead in the first round of the Rome mayoral race Sunday, exit polls showed, dealing a setback to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s ruling party. Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer whose campaign tapped into simmering discontent over a string of corruption scandals in the Italian capital, won between 33 and 38 percent of the vote, according to exit polls by public broadcaster RAI and La7 television. She was trailed by Roberto Giachetti of Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), who secured 20 to 26 percent of the vote. A second round run-off is to take place on June 19. Rome was considered the main prize in a battle for municipal seats across the country Sunday, in local polls widely seen as a test for Renzi. Eyes were also trained on the mayoral election in Milan, where centre-left candidate Giuseppe Sala took the lead with 38 to 42 percent, in line with pre-poll expectations, according to La7. He was closely followed by the centre-right’s Stefano Parisi. Overall, more than 13 million people nationwide were asked to cast their ballots to choose members of 1,300 municipal councils in a two-round ballot. – First