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Bossi not elected after 35 years in parliament

Salvini proposes 'Senatur' as life Senator

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 27 - Former leader of the once-secessionist Northern League (now League) Umberto Bossi has failed to be elected to parliament for the first time in 35 years, official results of Sunday's general election showed Tuesday.
    Bossi, 81, who speaks with a pronounced slur after a stroke in 2004, was top of the League's proportional ticket for the House in his home town of Varese but the party failed to gain a seat there reflecting a poor performance even in its northern heartlands in the elections where Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader Giorgia Meloni gobbled up much of the League's former base.
    League leader Matteo Salvini, who is facing calls for his resignation after the League's vote share dropped to just under 9% from double that at the last general election in 2018, said Bossi should be elected a life Senator.
    "Bossi should be a life Senator," he said.
    "It would be just recognition after 35 years in the service of the League and the Country.
    "I will personally take forward this proposal, certainly with the support not only of the League but also of very many Italians".
    Bossi built the Northern League out of the Lombard League in the 1980s and entered parliament as a Senator in 1987, nicknamed the 'Senatur' in Lombard dialect.
    His Northern League first came to power on the wings of Silvio Berlusconi's entry into politics at the helm of the centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party in 1994.
    He brought that coalition, also including the neo-Fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI, soon to morph into the post-Fascist national Alliance) down after just eight months in power.
    But Bossi returned to power in tandem with Berlusconi and the post-Fascists on two other occasions, in 2001 and 2008, and led the Northern League until Salvini took over a year after Bossi resigned in 2012.
    Bossi took an ever more backroom role as Salvini went on to drop the Northern tag and transform the once-secessionist force into a nationwide nationalist group, the League.
    He also suffered a string of legal woes, some involving his son, and the League is slowly paying back illegal party funding deriving from his time in office. (ANSA).
   

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