Bersani heads to general election
Democratic Party candidate to face center-right foes in 2013 voting.
ROME — Pier Luigi Bersani, the head of Italy’s main center-left Democratic Party, won a runoff primary Sunday to become the main centerleft candidate for Italy’s 2013 general elections — a vote that polls indicate could well be won by the Democratic Party given the utter disarray of the opposing center-right.
Preliminary results gave Bersani 60.8 percent of the vote compared with Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi’s 39.1 percent, with twothirds of the votes counted.
Even before the results were released, Renzi conceded the victory to Bersani on Twitter: “It was the right thing to try, it was beautiful to do it together.”
The primary had been closely watched since the Democratic Party has a significant lead in the polls over former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centerright People of Freedom party, which has been in chaos after the media mogul’s 2011 downfall, a series of corruption scandals within party ranks and Berlusconi’s indecision about whether to run for a fourth term.
The 2013 general election — expected in March or April — will decide if Italy continues on the same path to financial health charted by Premier Mario Monti, appointed last year to save Italy from a Greek-style debt crisis.