Elly Schlein, after the announcement of the results of the PD primary, in Rome, February 26, 2023. ROBERTO MONALDO / AP
“We won, it’s a small big revolution. With a broad smile, Elly Schlein thanked her supporters on the evening of Sunday, February 26, after winning the primary of the Democratic Party (PD, center left). For the first time since its founding in 2007, the formation has had a woman at its head. At 37, Elly Schlein succeeds Enrico Letta, who had announced that he was leaving his post, two years after taking control of the party, following the rout of the latter in the legislative elections of September 2022 won by Fratelli d’Italia ( extreme right), the party of Giorgia Meloni.
Nothing suggested the victory of Elly Schlein at the end of this primary which mobilized a little more than a million sympathizers across Italy. With more than 53% of the votes, the deputy however beat Stefano Bonaccini, the president of the Emilia-Romagna region (north) of which she was for a time the right arm in the regional administration. The latter, on the strength of his popularity in his region of origin, embodied a more centrist wing, while his rival clearly positioned himself on the left, emphasizing equal pay, climate justice or civil rights. . ” Yesterday [dimanche] around 2 p.m., we saw a large crowd in the cities compared to the provinces, and we said to ourselves that the miracle was taking place, ”says Francesco Boccia, senator PD, who coordinated the campaign. of the new secretary.
A consecration for this native of Lugano in Italian-speaking Switzerland, of an American father of Ukrainian Jewish origin and an Italian mother, both professors at the university. It was in Bologna, a laboratory of the left in the country, that Elly Schlein studied law and forged her political activism. In 2008, then 2012, she flew to the United States to volunteer for Barack Obama’s campaign. The following year, she made a name for herself by becoming the spokesperson for the “Occupy-PD” movement. The young people of the party then protested against the “treason” of the PD parliamentarians who thwarted the election of Romano Prodi as President of the Republic. At the time, the activist Schlein was already carrying out a project to renew the party’s leading executives.
“The Face of Breakup”
A desire for reform still intact, and which has even become the driving force behind his campaign. “This party has become the image of a closed ruling class that does not open the door to young people and women,” she confided to Le Monde on February 14, the day after the local elections in Lombardy and Lazio, where the PD was largely overtaken by the right-wing and far-right coalition in power. Today, his campaign has won over the youngest and city dwellers of the Peninsula.
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