Daniele Di Mario
June 19, 2021
With the victory of Roberto Gualtieri which is a rather obvious outcome, the center-left lives on the eve of the primaries for mayor of Rome with the unknown turnout. The flop of Turin (just 11,600 voters, even less than the 16 thousand signatures collected by the candidates) and the narrow victory (just 300 votes) of the Pd candidate, have been shaking the democratic nights for days. Because the center-left just can’t afford a candidate for mayor halved in an electoral campaign with an uncertain outcome. Getting Gualtieri to pass for the primary without being able to warm up the electorate would be an unforgivable own goal for the Democratic Party and the center-left, which remains favored in the municipal elections in Rome, but I will have to deal with Virginia Raggi and Carlo Calenda in the first round for access to the ballot and in the second round almost certainly with the center-right candidate Enrico Michetti. Gualtieri – it is the belief in the Nazarene – can win, of course, but as long as he does not make mistakes. Starting from the primary.
For the center-left primaries to choose the candidate for mayor and the candidates for the presidencies of the Municipalities, votes will be taken tomorrow from 8 to 21. All adult citizens residing in Rome can vote, but also children aged 16 and over and all foreigners regularly residing in Capital. Voting can be expressed physically in the gazebos or online through the Spid: 2,995 voters registered by 11.59 pm on 17 June last.
190 seats have been set up in the capital, but several unknowns weigh on the turnout. At 6 pm Italy plays, committed against Wales on the third day of group A of the European football championships. The return to the white zone, the heat and the sun, moreover, promise the Romans the first real summer weekend to spend at the sea and outside the city. In 2013, 110 thousand people voted in the primaries that hit Ignazio Marino. Five years ago 42 thousand went to vote for Roberto Giachetti. From the Democratic Party they let it be known that the minimum goal is to reach 50 thousand voters, with 70 thousand one would shout for success. But – reveal the most cautious and realistic – we could also be satisfied with 30-35 thousand, only to then blame the sun and Euro 2020 to save face to Gualtieri. Also because in these hours there is no lack of controversy. “The primaries are a sacrosanct tool. But the effect of a Democratic Party, which between one vote and another struggles in the relationship with the company, transforms them into a co-optation of candidates dropped from above. The Roman party, then, which I know well from having analyzed it, is the quintessence of this detachment, ”says the former minister Fabrizio Barca grimly. The parent company Dem in the Chamber Debora Serracchiani instead defends the primary: «I believe that we should not be afraid of confronting people, and choosing the instrument of the primary is a way to confront people. We are the only ones doing the primary and we do it courageously ».
The ghost of Ignazio Marino hangs over tomorrow’s vote, who continues to pick the Democrats on the Espresso. «The Democratic Party is soulless, it cannot be saved. And in Rome he will lose », ruled the former mayor sent home by his own former comrades with a signature from the notary. «In 2013 I remember that the very long queues at the polling stations reassured me: they meant that there were real citizens, not just parties – recalls Marino – People also involved in the televised confrontations. The fact that this time the Democratic Party said no to comparisons on TV, kept so low profile and asked all dem candidates who could endanger Roberto Gualtieri’s victory, including women like Monica Cirinnà, to withdraw, speaks for itself. But how, first you fight for the female leaders and then where there is a real leadership role, because this is the mayor of Rome, you say: move because there is a male? ». On Gualtieri, Marino’s prediction is clear: the former minister will win the primary but will lose the elections and the center-right candidate Enrico Michetti and the outgoing M5S mayor Virginia Raggi will go to the ballot. “Gualtieri is a decent person, he was esteemed by an MEP, I did not share some of his choices with the government, such as investing in F35 in the midst of the pandemic – says Marino – What I don’t like is this way: there can be no a candidate who imagines going through a primary without debate. But these always want to do this: they reject the debate. But without a comparison, what ideas do you ever want to have? It is one thing to run a race with clear rules, but if whoever manages the race does everything to make the goal not contestable, what sense does it make? And I believe that with the idea of a single candidate only a few will go to vote, organized by the presidential candidates. Rome is divided into fifteen municipalities, let’s say a thousand voters in the municipality? In the end they will be twenty thousand », Marino prophesies.
Meanwhile, the first polls are running. Everyone gives Michetti first, with percentages between 33 and 35%. In second place Gualtieri (in one case with 31%, in another with 26%), even if a Swg survey held by Calenda would give the Pd candidate closely followed by the leader of Action and the Rays. Gualtieri will try to deny Marino and the polls. But first he will have to beat his challengers in the primaries. There are six: Imma Battaglia (Liberare Roma), Giovanni Caudo (president of the III Municipality and former city planning councilor in the Marino council), Stefano Fassina (Left for Rome, is a member of the LeU), Paolo Ciani (Demos, Community of Sant ‘ Egidio), Cristina Grancio (ex M5S), Tobia Zevi. But the impression is that with the first place already assigned to the former minister, the real challenge is for those who come second and, above all, on the turnout.