Record 215 parties apply to take part in Italian elections

From right-wing gays of the Black Rose movement, to parties seeking to dump the euro, to the Ordinary Guy Front, there is something for everyone in the dazzling array of groups seeking to contest Italy’s elections.

The Interior Ministry, which will oversee the February 24 to 25 vote, has received a record 215 logos from parties, movements, associations, local and special interest groups of all sizes and colours; anyone who wants to be put on posters or ballot slips.

All manner of logos were displayed for public viewing on Monday in a long corridor in the ministry’s ground floor: a red heart, a tramp carrying a sack with his belongings hanging from a stick on his back, a heavily made-up former porn star.

“Some of this is pure exhibitionism but still, it is part of democracy,” said a ministry employee perusing the logos. He declined to give his name.

Apart from many logos from the main parties and their offshoots, there is a dizzying display of symbols pushing every position, cause, protest and desire under the political sun.

The ministry, using a 1957 law, will decide which logos it allows, depending mainly on the number of signatures backing them. In the last national elections in 2008, 153 out of 181 were approved.

Many are civic lists and special interest groups that will only appear locally. Most will then give their votes to larger parties or a coalition nationally. – Reuters

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