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More women than men to lead in Grillo's Five Star Movement

Online elections 'the first of their kind' says comedian

07 December, 14:29
More women than men to lead in Grillo's Five Star Movement (ANSA) - Rome, December 7 - Italian comedian Beppe Grillo announced Friday that his anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) would have more women than men representing it in parliament following an online vote. "Of 31 newly elected party ticket leaders, 17 are women, that is 55%," he said. "It's the first movement or political party to elect its representatives in parliament via Internet". Grillo has recently been accused of 'Berlusconi-style' sexism.

In November he chastised a female M5S member for going on national TV, calling her appearance "an attempt to reach her G spot".

But the party remains a rising force in Italian politics. The comedian said 95,000 people cast votes for 1,400 candidates in Italy's second-biggest party. According to polls Friday, the M5S has 19.7% of the popular vote, behind the center-left Democratic Party (PD) at 30.3% and ahead of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party at 13.8%, its lowest-ever level.