Palermo is preparing for next Sunday’s vote in a climate of strong tension, marked by the controversy over the commitment of the two convicted of mafia events, Marcello Dell’Utri and Totò Cuffaro – in support of Roberto Lagalla (center-right) – and for the today arrest of a candidate on the Forza Italia list for a political-mafia exchange vote: Pietro Polizzi. For the parties, the end of the interregnum of Leoluca Orlando, who has been mayor six times since 1985 and has led the Municipality for twenty years in the last thirty, represents a relevant test for many reasons, starting with the internal equilibrium of the two major coalitions, ready to launch themselves into another equally crucial challenge in the aftermath of the administrative outcome: the autumn regional elections. Two unknowns about the vote: the abstention and the concomitance with the return match – just Sunday at 9.15 pm with voting in progress – that the Palermo football team will play at the ‘Barbera’ with Padova (first leg 0-1) in front of 35 thousand spectators for promotion to Serie B. Six mayoral candidates running in the capital. The center-right managed – not without difficulty – to find unity around Roberto Lagalla, supported by nine lists: Forza Italia, Lega-Prima Italia, Udc, FdI, Ncl, Dc Nuova, Alleanza per Palermo (autonomists), We work for Palermo Lagalla mayor and Moderati for Lagalla mayor. For the progressive area the candidate is Franco Miceli, with four lists: Pd, M5s, Sinistra ecologist and Progetto Palermo which refers to Miceli. Action, + Europe and the civic lists “E tu splendi Palermo” and “Rompi il sistema (candidates under 25) run with Fabrizio Ferrandelli. MEP Francesca Donato (ex Lega), Rita Barbera (civic list, with Power al Popolo) and the independentist Ciro Lomonte.

Center-right split in Messina, where Lega-Prima Italy supports the candidate of ‘Sicilia Vera’ (movement of the former mayor Cateno De Luca in the running to be governor of the island) Federico Basile; the rest of the coalition is sided with Maurizio Croce. Franco De Domenico is the candidate supported by the progressive area, the other two are Salvatore Totaro (Future transparency and freedom) and Gino Sturniolo (Messina in the Municipality).

There are 120 municipalities in Sicily that will go to the vote, 107 with the majority system (up to 15 thousand inhabitants) and 13 with the proportional system: in this case, whoever gets at least 40% in the first round will be elected mayor otherwise it will go to the runoff on June 26. The municipal councilors to be elected are 1,520 and the electoral sections are 1,747, involved 1,710,451 inhabitants, of which 900,823 also for the elections of district presidents and district councils (657,561 in Palermo and 243,262 in Messina). In the city of Messina alone, as well as for the 5 referendums on justice, there will also be a vote on the referendum on the establishment of the new municipality “Montemare”, made up of twelve villages on the hilly and Tyrrhenian coast of the capital. The polls will be open only on Sunday, from 7 to 23. The voter can express one or two preferences from the same list, but of different genders: one female and one male. The vote expressed for a list extends to the candidate for statutory auditor connected to it and not vice versa: the so-called “drag effect”. The possibility of the “split vote” is also foreseen, which frees the voter to vote separately for a candidate for mayor and for a list not connected to it. The voting operations will take place in two phases: Sunday evening after the closing of the polls, the referendum ballots will be processed while the counting for the administrative offices will begin the next day, Monday 13 June, starting at 2 pm.

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