Italy has elected its most far-right government since World War II, and far-right politician Giorgia Meloni, is set to become Italy’s first woman prime minister.
The 45-year-old led the far-right party Brothers of Italy to win at least 26% of the votes, the highest out of any party, in the election on Sunday Sep. 25
The party, which has neo-fascist origins, will form a coalition with other right-wing parties to obtain the majority with at least 43% of the votes, defeating the left coalition.
In Italy, the newly elected Parliament undergoes a series of negotiations to propose and elect a new prime minister, which would happen around October or November.
Without much opposition, many speculate Meloni will become the next prime minister of Italy, a founder member of the European Union.
At age 15, Meloni joined a neo-fascist movement created by supporters of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, but Meloni has denied that she is a fascist and far-right.
Her party’s slogan, however, “God, Country, Family”, echoes the same ideas during Mussolini’s rule.
Although she emphasized being a woman and mother on the latest campaign trail, she has voiced opposition to abortion, euthanasia and same-sex relationships.
She has called for the Italian Navy to patrol the Mediterranean Sea to keep migrants from arriving by boat and spread fears of a “great replacement” of native Italians, according to the New York Times.
“Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to massive migration, Meloni said in a speech in Spain in June.
Her victory could lead to rollbacks in the rights of minorities including women, LGBTQ people and migrants, according to Vox.
She also hopes to change Italy’s constitution so the president may be elected through popular vote.
Sunday’s election saw a significantly low voter turnout, which analysts told the AP may have been due to voters feeling disillusioned by the state of Italian politics.
Several countries have congratulated Meloni for her victory but have emphasized they will be watching developments closely.
“We will be attentive, with the president of the European Commission, that these values of human rights, the respect of one another, notably the respect of abortion rights, are respected by all,” French prime minister Élisabeth Borne said, according to France24.