PADOVA. They presented their lists in municipalities with fewer than a thousand inhabitants, where applying for a candidate requires a simplified procedure. They favored those in which there was only one opponent, in order to guarantee at least the automatic election in the minority. But in addition to the cunning, here is the offense: unsuspecting candidates ended up on the list, including over eighty-year-olds and people with severe physical disabilities, all residing hundreds if not thousands of km from the place of application.
This was the mechanism of the group The Other Italy, a movement linked to the nationalist right that in the last two administrative rounds presented a candidate for mayor also to Barbona e Vighizzolo d’Este. The financiers of the Provincial Command of Padua directed by Colonel Michele Esposito, coordinated by the Prosecutor’s Office of Rovigo (in the persons of the chief prosecutor Carmelo Ruberto and the prosecutor Ermindo Mammucci), crushed the fraudulent electoral system of this group by carrying out 7 precautionary measures to five key figures of L’Altra Italia. Operation name: Candidopoli.
The investigations were carried out by Captain Andrea Zuppetti’s Fiamme Gialle di Este and were triggered after some journalistic reports (including those of Strip the News and of the morning of Padua) who denounced the presence of false electoral lists scattered throughout Italy.
What was the Other Italy doing? First of all, it presented its lists in municipalities with less than a thousand residents. In these cases it is not necessary to have the list signed by 25 municipal electors. And so far no transgression of the law. The offense, on the other hand, comes in the composition of the lists: three-quarters of the candidates were unaware of their candidacy. Their signatures had been forged or deceived. An example? A citizen remembers having signed, but thought he had signed a petition against the government of Rome. And so, with a “shortlist” of a few dozen names (almost all residing between Foggia and Lecce), the leaders of L’Altra Italia prepared random lists to be scattered around Italy. The candidates declared to the financiers that they never went to the provinces of Padua and Rieti, places where they would have affixed their signatures, disavowing knowing the authenticating public officials.
The “game”, within two years, was revived in 23 municipalities of 17 provinces: In the Paduan, a Vicenza (Posina), a Belluno (Borca di Cadore), but also in Alessandria, Asti, Bergamo, Campobasso, Catanzaro, Cosenza, Genoa, Imperia, Isernia, Perugia, Pisa, Potenza, Savona and Vibo Valentia.
The financiers of the Compagnia di Este have reported to the Prosecutor the 15 main managers who, for various reasons, have contributed to the formation and presentation of false lists.
The absolute leader, Mino Signs, founder and national secretary of L’Altra Italia, was arrested and placed under house arrest. For Francesco Foti, municipal councilor in Barbona and traffic policeman in Rovigo, one of the authenticators of the signatures, the obligation to sign and the interdicting measure of the temporary suspension from the public office of municipal councilor for one year have been triggered. The same fate befell Gianluca Trisiello di Lecce, municipal councilor in Roccantica (Rieti). Obligation to sign was also imposed on Franco Merafina of Cerignola and Felicetta Tartaglia of San Paolo di Civitate.