Former provincial president claims Palazzo Vecchio

Editorial Staff
June 18, 2009

With 59.99 percent of the votes, 34-year-old Matteo Renzi was elected mayor of Florence in a run-off vote, held on June 21 and 22. Renzi claimed the victory over his centre-right rival Giovanni Galli, who received 40.04 percent of the votes. Voter turnout in Florence was 58,92 percent compared to the 73,86 percent of Florentines who flocked to the polls on June 6 and 7. 


Renzi and his supporters celebrated the triumph in Florence's Piazza SS Annunziata on June 22. In his victory speech, the former president of the province of Florence thanked both supporters and opponents, including rival Galli who, according to Renzi, ‘obtained an excellent result' in the run-off ballot. A special thanks went to former mayor Leonardo Domenici, who will was elected a Minister of Parliament at the European Union in the first June 2009 ballot.


Renzi dedicated his win to extraordinary women, both past and present, from Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the young Iranian woman killed in recent protests known only as ‘Neda', to Anna Maria Luisa dei Medici, also known as Elettrice Palatina. He finished by asserting that once the festivities were over, he would get straight to work: ‘Starting tomorrow, we will work to bring Florence into the future'.


Although the centre-right candidate Galli was unable to divest one of Italy's most notorious ‘fortresses of the left', he promised to lead the opposition responsibly, continuing to dialogue with Renzi for the ‘good of Florence': ‘I will be the obsession of Renzi for the next five years. Florence is not ready yet, though receiving 40 percent of the votes is an important result. I will be part of the opposition but I will not oppose everything, which is what we are used to in Italy . If I had been voted mayor, I would have accepted any proposal that was advanced for the good of the city. I intend to follow through with this idea; I will not pay attention to political inclinations, but instead work to advance things that are in the best interests of Florence', Galli said in his post-election speech.


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