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Mussolini's granddaughter confirms will run for premier

Says will fight for women and children

26 October, 10:46
Mussolini's granddaughter confirms will run for premier (ANSA) - Rome, October 26 - Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, confirmed Friday she would run in primaries to be the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party's premier candidate after Silvio Berlusconi said he would not run in next year's elections.

Mussolini, 50, a former model with a neofascist past, said her platform would be aimed at improving conditions for children and mothers who "live a hellish life" while parliament "doesn't give much of a hoot about them, by and large".

The announcement came two days before the anniversary of her grandfather's 1922 March on Rome which set the stage for his 20-year rule.

PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano, 42, is favourite to pick up the 76-year-old Berlusconi's mantle in mid-December primaries with the declared aim of keeping the centre left out of power.

The main centre-left force, the Democratic Party (PD), is currently polling around 27% to the PdL's third-placed 15% with comic Beppe Grillo's Five-Star anti-establishment movement second with 20%.

Many pundits see PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani, 61, as likely to carry on from technocrat Mario Monti who took over from Berlusconi at the height of the euro crisis almost a year ago.

But Bersani is facing a strong challenge in next month's PD primaries from Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, 37.