Italy’s populist Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord have both fired back at former U.S. vice president Joe Biden who claimed that Russia and Vladimir Putin is helping the parties win elections.
Mr Biden made the remarks in an article for the journal Foreign Affairs ,writing that a “Russian effort is now underway to support the nationalist Northern League and the populist Five Star Movement in Italy’s upcoming parliamentary elections”.
Matteo Salvini, leader of the Lega Nord, or Northern League, took exception to the former Vice President’s remarks, saying Italy’s ruling Democratic party “will lose the elections, because the Italians have good sense, not because they want Putin”, La Repubblica reports.
The Five Star Movement (M5S), whose candidate Virginia Raggi became Mayor of Rome last year, wrote a reply to Biden on Facebook saying: “Today Biden says it is Russia’s fault, as he says it is Russia’s fault that Trump won and his party lost, Biden goes further and says Russia is helping the 5 Star Movement. He does not bring any evidence, this is unacceptable.”
Even the Democratic party expressed shock at Biden’s remarks, with MP Michele Anzaldi calling for Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano to meet with the U.S. and Russian ambassadors to talk urgently about the issue.
“The weighty and detailed accusations launched by former US Vice President Joe Biden on the interference of Russia on the Italian elections are truly disturbing and leave one shocked,” Anzaldi said.
Populists Crush Center-Left Social Democrats in Sicily Elections
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 7, 2017
Italians face a national parliamentary election next spring and Biden’s remarks are just the latest accusation of Russian tampering in major elections in the Western world.
Russians have been blamed for interfering in the Brexit vote which was dismissed in October by a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May.
In the presidential elections in France earlier this year, then-candidate Emmanuel Macron and his campaign had tens of thousands of emails leaked and many jumped to accuse Russia including Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager Robby Mook. Despite the accusations, the French government’s cybersecurity unit claimed there was no trace of Russian involvement in the leak.