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New Silk Road Candidate Wins Sicily Elections

Nov. 7, 2017 (EIRNS)—In an election that is seen as a guide to the national elections early next year in Italy, Center-right candidate Nello Musumeci won the Sicily regional elections on Nov. 5, with 39.8% of direct votes and 42% of party votes. M5S candidate Giancarlo Cancelleri came in second with 34.6% and 26.6% of party votes. Musumeci campaigned, and won, by supporting the New Silk Road.

Musumeci has an image of honest conservative, respected also by his adversaries. He was backed by a coalition of three parties (Forza Italia, FDL, and Lega) plus independents. During the election campaign, he scolded Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni for excluding Sicily and Southern Italy from the New Silk Road.

"Sicily, being the bridgehead of Europe to Africa, is the natural candidate to play a primary role of strategic terminal in this happy idea by the Chinese government. The ’New Silk Road’ can become an extraordinary opportunity, but we need adequate port infrastructure, to include in a multi-year program, to create a single ’southern pole’ at the center of the Euro-Afro-Asiatic area,"

Musumeci wrote in his blog. Musumeci also called for

"completing the southern part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor, including the [Messina] Strait Bridge, turning Sicilian strategic ports into gateways, improving the airport system and making internal road and rail transportation efficient."

Musumeci’s main opponent Cancelleri was backed only by the M5S, which is now the single largest party in Sicily.

Former Prime Minister Renzi’s Democratic Party candidate came in third with 18.6%.

Sicily, with 5 million inhabitants, is an important test for the general elections in March 2018. Previous to the vote, the three center-right leaders had signed an agreement.