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  • Luigi Di Maio, Leader of the Five Star Movement
    The shock waves of this election have swept away the entire political system that has managed Italy for the past two decades. Dominated by populist parties, this is now being called the dawn of Italy's Third Republic.
  • Not real candidates: VOTE FOR ME guerrilla posters
    This is the last week before polling is prohibited, and in these last days the campaigning for general elections March 4 is both fraught and fragmented, with no fewer than 28 national parties facing off against each other.
  • Local election posters, Genoa
    For the first time since its founding in October 2009 the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) was trounced in an election held in 1,021 townships throughout Italy. The shock waves also rippled onto the Partito Democratico (PD). The result: probable postponement of early national general elections.
  • Three powerful forces are lobbying for national general elections to be held this autumn, 6 months before the slated end of the legislature: Matteo Renzi's PD, Beppe Grillo's M5S and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia. But if so, they will leave serious unfinished business and may bring a possibly chaotic future.
  • Italy's ruling Partito Democratico (PD), until only recently Italy's largest single party with about 40% of the electorate, has split into two, raising serious problems for future governing. Said one commentator here, "In a situation like this, only Beppe Grillo can smile."
  • Proposed new stadium, with skyscrapers, culture-commercial center
    Whether or not Rome is to have a new soccer stadium is approaching a decsion. The present 54-year-old Olympic Stadium, now home to local rival teams AS Roma and to SS Lazio, comes with serious defects, but construction of the proposed new $1.26 billion stadium faces no less serious obstacles.
  • The court in session
    In the final, clipped sentence of its ruling Jan. 25, the Constitutional Court cleared the way for national general elections to be held, even this spring, one year ahead of the formal end of the legislature. Those jubilant over the decision included Matteo Renzi, Beppe Grillo and Matteo Salvini.
  • Italian PM Matteo Renzi resigns following referendum defeat
    Within hours of losing the constitutional referendum Dec. 4, Matteo Renzi submitted his resignation as Premier, one of the few in Italian postwar history whose government lasted over 1,000 days. The huge turnout and the massive 60% vote against the referendum caught pundits by surprise.
  • Movimento Cinque Stelle leader Beppe Grillo during the demonstration in Rome last week
    When Beppe Grillo, Movimento Cinque Stelle leader, took a tumble into one of the myriad Roman potholes, the sarcastic chortles of his opponents echoed all over Italy. Why? Because the mayor, who is expected to fix up Rome and its streets, is from his party.