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Piedmont 2010 elections annulled for 'fake signatures'

Repeat expected in May

12 February, 13:26
Piedmont 2010 elections annulled for 'fake signatures' (ANSA) - Rome, February 12 - Elections won by the anti-immigrant Northern League in the northwestern Piedmont region in 2010 will have to be repeated after Italy's top administrative court said they were illegitimate because of fake signatures filed for winner Roberto Cota.

The centre-left Democratic Party (PD), Italy's biggest party, said it would press for the vote to take place along with European Parliament elections on May 24-25.

"Finally justice has been done after a long, tough battle" said PD former governor Mercedes Bresso, who lost by the narrowest of margins to Cota to give the League an almost clean sweep of the wealthy northern regions in 2010, apart from Liguria to the west.

Cota called the ruling by the Council of State "a disgrace" and "the death of democracy".

"We won in 2010 and we'll win again," he predicted amid polls suggesting a PD-led coalition is ahead of one featuring the League with the key support of charismatic ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

League leader Matteo Salvini vowed: "we will win against snobbish Turin and the banks".

Former Turin mayor Sergio Chiamparino said he would run, saying he was "not afraid of anything", while Bresso said she would not stand in his way.

The Council of State rejected Cota's appeal against a lower court's ruling Tuesday night after a supporter was convicted of filing bogus signatures on a small list backing the League bigwig four years ago.