Meloni may become Italy's first female PM

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In a predicted right-wing rush to the polls on Sunday, Giorgia Meloni, the head of Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy), could become the country's first female prime minister.

The eyes of Europe are on Rome, where this potential first is joined by worries that Meloni would bring back an ideology not seen in Italy since World War II.

 Analysts predict that the Sunday vote will result in a conservative coalition being elected to parliament, with Meloni serving as prime minister.

Meloni has denied the parallels, casting her suggested conservative coalition as a nationalist movement that would wrest control away from Brussels, despite the fact that Fratelli d'Italia's party imagery calls to mind Italy's Nazi past.

The technocrat government kept together by former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi would drastically change under a Meloni administration.

Draghi's coalition was solely opposed by Meloni's party, which lost in July after taking a strong line on topics that had gained support within the European Union, such as arming Ukraine and sanctioning Russia.

The third-largest economy in the EU and one of its founders, Italy, is reportedly warming up more to Hungary and Poland than to Germany and France. This suggests that the EU's battle lines may be realigning.

According to polls, Meloni will be the leading conservative finisher on Sunday; Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the center-right Forza Italia, and Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League, would be her government's junior partners.

Analysts attribute Meloni's victory against them to her unwavering anti-Putin and pro-NATO stance. Longtime Putin ally Berlusconi has openly endorsed the Kremlin's war justifications.

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