Election in Lecce, the Emiliano affair opens: the center right accuses him of violating electoral silence and files a complaint with the public prosecutor's office

It is almost 7 a.m. on Sunday June 23 when the polls will be reopened in Lecce. The vote will be used to determine who, between Carlo Salvemini, from the center-left, and Adriana Poli Bortone, from the center-right, will be the next mayor of the capital of Salento. Despite the rule of electoral silence already in force, chaos broke out during the municipal elections. The communication barriers have been demolished and, from Rome, national and local politicians are commenting on a story that concerns Lecce and of which Michele Emiliano is the protagonist. The President of Puglia, on the morning of June 22, met “behind closed doors” “with friends belonging to different social and professional categories to also talk about the second round in Lecce”. MP Claudio Stefanazzi, also a member of the Democratic Party, tells this in a letter addressed to the prefect.

The reconstruction of the center-right

This is not the first letter to arrive in the prefect's mailbox today. Before Stefanazzi, it was the center-right parties and movements in Lecce who wrote to him. Raise the case of an alleged violation of electoral silence. “A very serious violation of the rules,” they say in black and white, “all the more serious as it emanates from an institutional figure, the president of the Region, who should be a figure of guarantee for the entire population of the Apulia. Emiliano, according to his informants, would not have hesitated “to summon the chief doctors of the Lecce hospital to encourage them to vote for the center-left candidate Salvemini, demonstrating that the public health system of Puglia, far from “being at the service of citizens, whatever their political identity, have become solely and exclusively an instrument of political power, with all that this implies in terms of impartiality and credibility”.

The local television interview

A very serious accusation, which ends with an invitation to the prefect to intervene to “restore respect for the laws which govern the matter and especially the regularity of political competition existing in the city of Lecce”. Candidate Poli Bortone takes a further step and announces that she will file a complaint with the public prosecutor's office. Also because the matter became complicated to the extent that Emiliano, leaving the meeting, did not deny his answers to the journalist from a local television channel who approached him. Stefanazzi claims it was “just a matter of courtesy”, also providing a response in which “he clarified very clearly the reason for the meeting”. But for Poli Bortone, the Democrats' explanation is nothing more than an attempt “to limit press freedom, calling into question the accuracy of the local television journalists who recorded the interview.” Demanding compliance with current regulations does not mean poisoning the climate. And at this stage, tomorrow's transfer to the Prosecutor's Office will be fundamental and essential. »

Rain of letters, complaints and parliamentary questions

Stefanazzi had spoken before her about climate poisoning. The latter, in the letter to the prefect, reiterates: “There will be a parliamentary question to clarify how it was possible that, with the wording of the paid electoral message, only a few days ago, Senator Poli Bortone was authorized to occupy for 1 hour and 30 minutes of broadcast without any cross-examination. The measure is full. We will address this propaganda drift in the appropriate places. » Several deputies and senators expressed their opinion on the subject. Among them, Roberto Marti, of the Lega Saverio Congedo of Fratelli d'Italia, decided to publish a joint note: “Emiliano thought carefully about taking advantage of his institutional role to go hunting for votes. He could have done so, legitimately, by attending rallies and appearing in public within the allotted time frame. Instead, he acts in secret, using channels that he should have activated to resolve the problems in the Lecce health service. » They too will ask a parliamentary question.

Gasparri accuses Emiliano of having little sense of legality

“Who is Emiliano, the president of the Puglia region?” asks Maurizio Gasparri. “A bully who one day goes to visit the boss's sister at home and another day does something else. For example, now, when the electoral campaign can no longer take place, he meets in Lecce the leaders of the Salento health system who depend on him. An obvious electoral interference which demonstrates, once again, the arrogance of this character who tramples all the rules of good conduct. A bully. A bad example. Someone who appears on stage with a priest next to him, who a few days ago described the Minister of the Interior as a criminal. And he is not making a public declaration of distancing. » The leader of the Forza Italia group in the Senate also has feelings for the former mayor of Bari: “This outing today in the Lecce region is further proof of Emiliano's sense of legality. In blatant violation of electoral rules and with the clear aim of obtaining consensus. Emiliano is even worse than Antonio Decaro.”

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