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The Italian farce of Elly Schlein’s candidacy in the Democratic Party. What happens when voters don’t like your leader

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The upcoming European elections in June 2024 in Italy will, in some cases, see the various party leaders standing as chief candidates to bring their personal prestige to reinforce the party. However, this authority must exist, and in parties whose leader is not strong and appreciated, this is causing problems.
The prospect of nominating secretary Elly Schlein as a leading candidate in the upcoming European elections has triggered a psychodrama in the main Italian left-wing opposition party, the Partito Democratico (Pd), Democratic Party. This proposal has garnered many No’s, and in the end came even that of the “professor,” Romano Prodi himself, former prime minister and founding father of the party

Schlein isn’t the pull factor in the Pd

In the end, even Romano Prodi, the “noble father” of the Democratic Party, joins the long list of those who “advise” (so to speak) Elly Schlein against running in the European elections as a leading candidate in all constituencies. The former PM and president emeritus of the European Commission does not name the Pd secretary but lets himself be understood: “My discourse is general and applies to everyone,” but if “you put five candidacies and choose one, it means that to the other four you don’t go. In some cases, you don’t go at all.” If you are already elected to Parliament and do not intend to leave Rome for Brussels, it is understood.

Anti-Schlein move?

Putting the pieces together, the impression is indeed that of a maneuver not to make Elly Schlein a candidate for the Europeans. Although for Prodi, multiple candidacies represent “a vulnus for democracy,. I do not stop anyone,” the former premier added. “It is a serious principle of democracy. If we continue to weaken democracy in all its aspects, then we don’t complain if dictatorship comes because if it solves more problems than democracy, then dictatorship wins,” adds the professor, who seems to want to make it a matter of form.

Will Schlein give up?

Elly Schlein aims to polarize the clash with Meloni, and there is no doubt about that. If she runs, it will consolidate with numbers the leadership in the Democratic Party with the idea that on one side is Giorgia Meloni and on the other side is her, the champion, cutting out other leaders like Giuseppe Conte. How would she turn out to be weaker? By running or giving up?

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