Polling in the first day of the Italian general elections passed peacefully today (Sunday May 7).
SV EXTERIOR Voters leaving & entering polling station
MV Poster outside polling station PAN TO voters waiting to cast ballot
MV INTERIOR Num collects ballot slip.
MV Almirants caste vote
MV President Lone voting
MV EXTERIOR President Leone into car and away (2 shots)
Initials BB/0236 WLW/BOB/BB/0230
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Polling in the first day of the Italian general elections passed peacefully today (Sunday May 7). Voting urns in the 67,670 polling stations were closed after 16 hours, and were due to be re-opened on Monday for the final day's balloting. Final results were due mid-afternoon on Tuesday (May 9).
The election, Italy's sixth since World War Two, was precipitated a year ahead of schedule by the collapse earlier this year of the Christian Democrat coalition with socialists, social democrats and republicans. Political analysts were predicting a majority in favour of the Christian Democrats, who have ruled Italy since World War Two in and out of coalition. Keen interest was focused, however, on the progress of the Italian Communist Party--the country's second largest party--and the growing right-wing Italian Social Movement, accused by its opponents of being neo-fascist. The Christian Democrats have said, however, that if forced into another coalition after this election they WON'T go into any liaison which includes either the Communist Party or the Social Movement.