Mussolini’s granddaughter wins Rome election for far right party but insists surname is a ‘burden’

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File: Rachele Mussolini, second from left, is now a second term city council  (Getty Images)
File: Rachele Mussolini, second from left, is now a second term city council (Getty Images)

One of the granddaughters of fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini has won a second term as a city councillor in Rome’s municipality elections, while admitting to the “burdensome” impact of her family name.

Rachele Mussolini, 47, insists the Mussolini surname is a “burden” she wants nothing to do with.

Ms Mussolini, who stood for the far-right Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) party, registered a thumping victory on Wednesday. She clinched 8,200 votes, the highest for any candidate in the municipal election that was conducted on Sunday and Monday.

The two-term city councillor told an Italian newspaper that she wants to be known for her “hard work” instead of the reputation of her family name, adding that she has “many left-wing friends.”

“In the past, I got interviewed only because of my family name. During my last term, they started asking about the initiatives I promoted on the city council. I’ve worked hard,” she told the La Repubblica newspaper for its Wednesday edition, reported Reuters.

“I learned to live with my surname since I was a child,” she said. “At school, they used to point at me, but then Rachele emerged and the person (that I am) prevailed over the surname, however burdensome that name is.”

Ms Mussolini also hit out at people repeatedly questioning her about her views on fascism. “To deal with this subject, we’d need to talk until tomorrow morning,” she said, adding she was against the glorification of the term.

Ms Mussolini, despite her tainted family past, is one of the very few-right wing candidates who registered victory in the mayoral elections.

Centre-left candidates are predicted to win in financial capital Milan, Naples and Bologna, according to Reuters.

The four major cities in Italy where the elections were held were Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin. Over a 1,000 smaller centres were up for elections as well.

Ms Mussolini is the daughter of Benito Mussolini’s fourth child Romano Mussolini. She is not the first person from her family to venture into politics.

Her half-sister Alessandra served as a member of the European Parliament between 2014 and 2019. Her father, however, stayed away from politics and spent his life as a jazz pianist.

Benito Mussolini, popularly known as “Il Duce”, was Italy’s dictator for two decades. He plunged the country into the Second World War after allying with Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and was summarily executed in 1945.

During his fascist reign, Mussolini had signed racial laws that led to the deportation and murder of thousands of Italian Jews.

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AP News Digest 3:30 am

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