Rachele Mussolini Photograph:( Twitter )
A granddaughter of Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini has won a second term as a city councillor in Rome with a much increased majority and said her success was down to her hard work, not to her family history.
Rachele Mussolini, the granddaughter of Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, received the most votes in Rome's city council elections, according to official figures released Wednesday.
Mussolini received 8,264 votes when running for the Fratelli d'Italia party, which is descended from the neo-fascist conservative MSI party, or Italian Social Movement party.
Mussolini told the daily La Repubblica on Wednesday that she believed people were more interested in her "initiatives" while she was on the City Council than in her surname.
"In the past, I got interviewed only because of my family name. During my last term, they started asking about the initiatives I promoted on the city council. I've worked hard," she told Wednesday's edition of daily newspaper la Repubblica.
She is the daughter of jazz musician Romano Mussolini, the son of the fascist dictator who ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943.
"I learnt to live with my surname since I was a child," she said. "At school they used to point at me, but then Rachele emerged and the person (that I am) prevailed over the surname, however burdensome that name is."
When asked about her feelings on fascism, she stated that she was opposed to its glorification but avoided more comment, adding, "To deal with this issue, we'd need to discuss till tomorrow morning."
On Sunday and Monday, mayoral elections were held in Italy's four largest cities - Rome, Milan, Naples, and Turin - as well as over 1,000 smaller towns, with a run-off scheduled in two weeks in places where no candidate received a majority of votes.
In the financial hubs of Milan, Naples, and Bologna, centre-left candidates are expected to win without a run-off.
The rightist alliance, which includes Rachele Mussolini's party, is still hoping to win the Rome run-off between Enrico Michetti of the right and Roberto Gualtieri of the center-left.
(With inputs from agencies)