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Sunday, 19 June 2016 - 8:20
Rome to elect first female mayor
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Voters in the Italian capital go to the polls Sunday with all signs indicating that they will elect Virginia Raggi as the first female mayor of the Eternal City.

Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer and local councillor, has leapt from anonymity to become one of the best-known faces in Italian politics in the space of only a few months on the campaign trail.

The telegenic brunette is the rising star of the populist Five Star movement (M5S), the anti-establishment party founded by comedian Beppe Grillo.

It has emerged as the best-supported opposition to the centre left, Democratic Party (PD)-led coalition of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and the stakes are extremely high for a movement that was only founded in 2009.

With the ebullient Renzi`s star waning slightly, success in Rome could provide a platform for a tilt at national power in general elections due in 2018.

"We are witnessing a historic moment," Raggi said after the June 5 first round of voting, from which she emerged with 35 percent of the vote, well ahead of her run-off rival, Roberto Giachetti (24 percent).

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