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'Govt OKs early Lombardy elections' after corruption scandal

Formigoni to form coalition with former Milan mayor Albertini

19 October, 17:49
'Govt OKs early Lombardy elections' after corruption scandal (ANSA) - Milan, October 19 - Lombardy Governor Roberto Formigoni said Friday that the Italian government has approved early elections in his region after he scrapped the executive when scandals peaked in alleged vote buying from the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia by a regional councillor.

"The government has officially confirmed it agrees with me that Lombardy should vote as soon as possible, as it would send a signal of clarity," he said after a meeting at the premier's offices in Rome. Formigoni, a member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, did not specify when they would be.

The PdL leadership is sending mixed signals about whether he should carry on, with some heavyweights saying regionalist Northern League leader Roberto Maroni, a former interior minister, should step in.

Formigoni said Friday he was working with former Milan mayor and fellow PdL member Gabriele Albertini "to form a coalition of moderates that could win the elections". The League has almost as many seats as the PdL in the regional assembly.

One of its regional councillors is among 14 under investigation for various cases of alleged graft.

Formigoni is himself being probed for corruption.

Like the others, he denies all wrongdoing.