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LA STAMPA

From Berlusconi's TV Optimism To Salvini's Dark Tweets

Once upon a time, Italy embraced its own politically incorrect billionaire-turned-politico. And yet the real shift toward Trump-style nationalism came after Berlusconi's departure.

Matteo Salvini takes a selfie in Rome
Matteo Salvini takes a selfie in Rome
Giovanni De Luna

Italy is a relatively young democracy: It was not until the overthrow of the Fascist regime and the end of War War II that the republic was born. It was the June 2, 1946 referendum that put an end to the monarchy and gave way to a republican system.

For almost five decades, the country was led by the centrist Christian Democrats, until a huge corruption scandal known as Tangentopoli and the consequent judicial actions known as Mani Pulite (Clean Hands). It was then, amid a huge crisis, that Silvio Berlusconi emerged. The richest man in the country, Berlusconi pitched himself as a down-to-earth guy who could talk like a common person and make non-politically correct jokes. He said he would get rid of a corrupt system and fix Italy's many ills.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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